New York Public Library

Contact: John Shepard

Notes/Comments: [none]
1. Does your instution maintain holdings of concert programs? Yes.
2. Apart from concert programs, does your institution have significant holdings of other types of documents that can be useful for performance research such as libretti, playbills, historical journals with concert reviews, etc.? Programma giornaliero degli spettacoli, balli, feste, concerti ed altri, divertmenti pubblici (Napoli, 1838-59) [Italian opera librettos. A collection of about 1300 titles] (Napoli, 1705-1865). The archives of The New York Pro Musica, 1953-1980.
3. Please list major concert venues, ensembles or performing organizations, and artists that are represented in your holdings. If possible, indicate a general timeframe for each (e.g. New York Philharmonic: 1920-1950). If your holdings are so extensive it is impractical to submit a list in a timely fashion, please provide a general overview (e.g. Programs of various musical events in Stockholm: 19th and 20th centuries). Bound series of concert programs from the major concert venues and performing ensembles in New York City (for most of these, holdings are from the founding of the ensemble/venue to the present). Unbound miscellaneous loose programs (stored in filing cabinets) representing hundreds of venues, large and small, in the Greater New York area.
4. Do you have collection level or title/series level descriptions of your holdings? If yes, are these descriptions available online or in print? For the officially cataloged program series, yes: (however, hasty retrospective conversation left some catalog records without subject access; for example, the record for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra programs does not have the subject heading "Concert programs"). For the miscellaneous uncataloged loose programs in filing cabinets, access is hit-or-miss: there is not even a shelf list for these materials.
5. Have you undertaken or are you planning any item level indexing or cataloging of individual programs? If yes, please list the categories of information that are indexed for each program (e.g. date, venue, artists, works, etc.). If the details of your plan are not yet specified, please made a simple explanation of what you hope to accomplish. If your index is available online please provide the URL. If it exists in some other electronic format such as an Excel or FileMaker file please try to send it as an attachment. The Music Division's Vocal Music Index (an 1149-drawer card file) indexes some vocal texts printed in concert and recital programs. The Music Division's Programs/1st Performance card file (18 drawers) indexes 20th-century concert programs by composer and title of work (little information added after the 1960s).
6. Please briefly describe the clientele or research use of your holdings. Are the programs accessible to the public? Are they used for historical research or more for practical in-house institutional functions? We serve every kind of client imagineable, including students and faculty from area universities, researchers working for magazines and record companies, and scholars and performers from other countries. The programs are accessible to the public and are used for historical research, locating program notes on particular works, among other uses.
7. Are you able and willing to assist in developing a broader census of program holdings within your national branch? [did not answer]
8. Are you able and willing to assist in developing a template or questionnaire for submitting collection level descriptions? [did not answer]
9. Are you able and willing to participate in preparing the draft thesauri for genre and instrumentation? [did not answer]
10. Can you refer other potential participants for the IAML project? Please provide names and email addresses if possible. Barbara Haws, Archivist, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Zino Francesconi, Archivist, Carnegie Hall (

Compiled by Rebecca Arnott ( ) and John Spilker (