Music Archives

The Music Archives at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary consist of the special music collections of various cantors, composers, musicologists, teachers, and collectors of Jewish music.


Collections may contain:

  • Manuscript or published scores
  • Archival or commercially released audio or video recordings
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Lectures
  • Drafts and typescripts of books, essays, or librettos
  • Clippings
  • Programs
  • Pamphlets
  • Brochures
  • Awards
  • Diplomas
  • Organizational records
  • Personal effects

The musical scores, recordings, and published books are cataloged at the item level, and each individual bibliographic record may be accessed through The Library Catalog at: Archival material is arranged at the folder level and described in each collection's finding aid. Special or rare materials are stored in the Rare Book Room on The Library's fifth floor.

The Library's mission is to collect, preserve, and make available materials that tell, play, and sing the history of the music of the Jewish people. Within the special music collections, certain genres and categories figure prominently:

  • Liturgical music—published and unpublished—from late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Europe and Russia
  • Music collections of composers of Jewish liturgical or art music—many who also originally hailed from Central or Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • A repository for the history of Jewish music in the United States. Irrespective of the diversity of the lands where many of the collections originated, their owners inevitably made their homes and unique contributions on these welcoming shores.