The primary purpose of the collection is to support the teaching and research needs of the faculty and students in the Music Department. The collection also serves music needs of students and faculty from other departments.
The collection includes a wide variety of materials focused on general music history and theory, with an emphasis on early and contemporary music, ethnomusicology and jazz, composition and music theory. The collection consists of Western music with selective holdings of non-Western music that is growing, and includes monographs, serials, music scores, sound recordings and videos. Increasingly all materials are available in electronic/streaming format.
Irish Music monographs and sound recordings, housed at the O'Neill Library and at the Irish Music Center in the John J. Burns Library, are of particular interest to students and scholars.
Preference is given to materials published by university presses (Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, etc. ) and music and scholarly publishers, such as Ashgate, Bloomsbury, Brepols, Kalmus, Routledge, Rowman & Littlefield, etc.