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Music Research Guide



This guide provides information on some of the music resources and services available in the Boston College Libraries.

Scores in the Library

O'Neill Library has a variety of scores, from the complete works of classical composers to sheet music for popular songs. Many scores are housed on the fourth floor of the O'Neill Library; some are offsite and others are online. Print scores are arranged by Library of Congress subject headings. This method organizes materials by type of music, not by composer. For instance, instrumental pieces would appear within the range of M5-M1480. Vocal music can be found within call numbers M1495- 2199.

Finding Scores in the Library

Use, the Boston College Libraries catalog, to find scores. Click on "Advanced Search," select "Scores" from the Material Type drop-down menu, and enter the name of the composer and/or some keywords from the title of the piece.

Other tips:

  • Use keywords and use truncation i.e. symphon* (i.e. symphon* Bruckner)
  • If you are not getting any results or are getting only a few results use less terms i.e. Instead of searching for "Beethoven string quartet e flat"  try Beethoven string quartet*.
  • The titles of scores may be in English or another language.  Begin with a keyword search using the terms you know. Click on the "Details" tab to find "The uniform title".  The Uniform title identifies an item if it appears under different names. To find more entries do a new keyword search using the uniform title as your search terms.  For example searching for Well-Tempered Clavier will give you three scores, searching for the uniform title "Wohltemperierte Klavier" comes up with fourteen.

Request a Score

If a score is not owned by the Boston College Libraries you can request a copy in the following ways:

1. Place a request through Interlibrary Loan.  BC Library staff will borrow the score from another library.

2. Use WorldCat to locate the score at a library within the Boston Library Consortium, get a consortium card at the O'Neill Circulation Desk, and go to the library to borrow the score.

3. Recommend that the score be purchased for the library by emailing Nina Bogdanovsky (

Online Scores

Scores at Other Libraries