The Music Library contains materials suitable for many types of use: casual listening, informed personal study, specialized undergraduate and graduate studies in music, cross-disciplinary studies, and advanced studies of rare materials. The library is especially rich in contemporary music, reflecting the strengths of UB’s Department of Music.
Fully catalogued holdings of 224,000 items include:
- 96,000 scores and performance parts
- 42,000 volumes of literature (chiefly books about music)
- 24,000 periodical and serial volumes, most now housed at the Libraries Annex with 24-hour delivery
- 45,000 sound recordings
- 8,000 microform reels, cards, and fiche, including 800 reels of music manuscripts on microfilm
- 1,200 videos
- 2,000 slides for the study of music iconography
- Several photograph collections totaling more than 5,000 images
The Music Library has a significant digital presence as well. In addition to commercial products including electronic journals, indexes, databases, and audio streaming services, the library has created online finding aids to its archival collection and has digitized some of it's unique or rare holdings. These include fifteen photograph collections comprising more than 5,000 images, plus selected texts and scores. Despite its relatively short history, the library owns a surprising number of manuscripts and several thousand fine and early editions. In addition, the library has gathered "pockets" of materials and unusual individual items it hopes may generate research, prompt and support a thesis, provide a worthwhile topic for a conference paper or a powerful illustration to use in class.