We may gain insights into creative processes across the history of Western art music by studying composers' notated musical sources, usually in the form of manuscripts, sketches, and early printed editions. When consultation of original source materials is not practical or possible, we may turn to published facsimiles, when they are available.
Facsimiles are reproductions of source materials, ranging from simple black and white photocopies to full-color high resolution reproductions that attempt to duplicate the look and feel of the original, sometimes even including the cover and binding. The term also encompasses digital images; see Digital Facsimiles for links to online facsimile resources and sheet music collections.
Our highest quality facsimiles are classed in ML96.4 — ML96.5 and do not circulate outside the library. See also the featured "Facsimile of the Month" on display in the CCM Library.
Reproductions of composers' manuscripts are found in the libraries' online catalog under the subject subdivision:
"... --Manuscripts--Facsimiles". For example, Library resources that include Beethoven manuscripts or manuscript pages in facsimile reproduction can be discovered by the following search (click link below):
The best way to search the catalog for print facsimiles is to combine the term "facsimiles" with other search terms in a keyword search:
Note that manuscript collections may have distinctive titles or may be known only by their conserving library and shelf number.
More and more facsimiles of original musical sources are available online as digital images. Resources that include links to digital images of music sources are:
And there's always Google Images.
University of Cincinnati Libraries
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