The Colonial Music Institute
Bringing History to Life Through Music
Have an Old Music book or Manuscript? We can help you learn about it.
Old Music and Manuscripts
We at the Colonial Music Institute are always interested in learning about new resources for 18th-century American music. If you have located a handwritten collection of tunes that you think may date from the 18th- or early 19th-century, write to us. In exchange for a photocopy, photographs, or a loan of the book, we may be able to give you more information about the item that will help you decide its value on the antiquarian market. We cannot give money values for such items because so many factors affect this, but we can give you some idea of the rarity of your treasure and how it compares with others like it.
If you have found a printed music book that you think is old, mail us a description of the title page, pagination, and the contents. Sending images by email is the best way to do this. We may be able to guide you to more information about the book.
Old sheet music is a bit more difficult. Try the internet for a match on the Library of Congress "American Memory" site or the Lester Levy Collection at Johns Hopkins University. You can also simply type the first few words into Google in quotes, i.e., "Of all the girls". If you come up with a blank, send us a picture of the sheet music. We'll try to help.