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Start your music research here!

Primary Sources in Music

Music Primary Sources include:

  • Scores 
  • Sound recordings
  • Films of performances
  • Interviews
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts, including facsimiles of original manuscripts
  • Original research

Search Primo

To find primary sources in music, search Primo. Try the following terms:

Music Manuscripts Facsimiles. or search a composer and manuscripts,  ex. Stravinsky, Igor Manuscripts

Musicals Librettos

Interviews, ex.Pianists Interviews

Autobiography, memoirs, ex. Music is My Life: Louis Armstrong, autobiography, and American Jazz or Just Kids by Patti Smith

Correspondance, ex. Mozart speaks : views on music, musicians, and the world : drawn from the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other early accounts

Sound Recordings, see the tab "recordings" in this guide

Films of Performances can be found by searching the artist and limiting the format to video, Jimi Hendrix : Live at Woodstock

Sources, ex.Music 18th century History and criticism Sources.

Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, Music

The Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary source material documenting life at the University as well as collections representing regional, national and international issues.

A small selection of material is listed below, for additional sources, please contact

The Leroy Ostransky papers, 1939-1993, include correspondence, audio recordings, manuscripts, class notes, musical scores and compositions by this composer, author, and professor of music at the University of Puget Sound.  An expert on jazz, he was widely recognized for his contributions to education and the arts.

The University of Puget Sound Ephemera Collection contains many music programs for concerts performed at the University over the years. A selection of digitized material from this collection is available online, with content being added often.

What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the humanities:

  • a novel
  • a painting
  • a theatre performance

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Example in the sciences:

  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Archives & Special Collections Hours

Spring 2020 update:

The Archives & Special Collections is currently unable to host in-person researchers. If you need assistance or would like to set up a virtual appointment, please email us at

A small selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.