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Allen Music Library Special Collections

Included in this collection are items of local interest, signed items, rare items, and valuable and unique materials including autograph-manuscripts and first edition copies of major treatises.

About Special Collections

Florida State University
College of Music
Housewright Music Building
122 N. Copeland St.
Tallahassee, FL 32306

College of Music Reel-to-Reel Recordings

The library possesses approximately 1700 reel-to-reel recordings. There are a few commercial recordings, but the collection consists principally of performances by FSU faculty and ensembles, dating from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s. Highlights include a production of Globolinks overseen by Giancarlo Menotti and performances from the first Festival of New Music in 1981. Also in the collection are copies, some possibly masters, of the radio show "Songs of Florida."

Some of the recordings are in poor condition.  Reel-to-reel listening equipment is available in the library by appointment.

Contact Information:
AML Special Collections
(850) 644-5028

A rough list of the collection is available as a PDF file. We have tried to be as complete and accurate as possible, but several of the recordings are poorly or incompletely labeled. The list preserves the original numbering so far as possible; occasional inconsistencies occur.


College of Music Scrapbooks

The Historical Scrapbook Collection consists of 39 books primarily concerned with the history of the school School of Music at the Florida State College for Women (1909-1947) and Florida State University (1947-present). The contents are mostly newspaper clippings directly related to the school or its faculty, recital and concert programs, and posters. Coverage extends from 1911 up to 2002.

Additionally, four books contain collections of articles on and photgraphs of opera singers and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. These books include material dating from the 1890s to the 1940s.

Some of the books are quite fragile and are thus available for viewing by appointment only.


Contact Information:
AML Special Collections
(850) 644-5028

A brief summary of the collection is available:

Confederate Sheet Music Collection

In 1987, the Warren D. Allen Music Library acquired a large collection of Confederate sheet music imprints. The collection includes more than 300 items which comprise approximately 40% of all sheet music titles known to have been published in the Confederacy.

The collection includes music by many composers of the era, including John H. Hewitt, Theodore von La Hache, and H. L. Schreiner. Representative publishers of the period include Blackmar & Bros. of Augusta and New Orleans, and J. C. Schreiner & Son of Macon and Savannah. The largest portion consists of sentimental ballads and patriotic songs; however, marches, polkas, waltzes and quicksteps are also well represented. Also of interest to the historian are the many covers which are relevant for both their artistic and sociological value.

Individual titles do not appear in our online catalog. FSU alumnus John G. Rivest's A descriptive bibliography of confederate sheet-music imprints held by The Florida State University (ML125.C6 R58 1990) describes the contents of the collection in detail. In addition, Frank W. Hoogerwerf's Confederate sheet music imprints (ML125.C6 H66 1984) is a thorough catalog of all existing confederate era sheet music imprints.

The collection also contains twenty items of Confederate-related sheet music. Most do not have Rivest numbers, but about half of them have Hoogerwerf numbers.

The collection is available for research by appointment in the music library.

Contact Information:
AML Special Collections
(850) 644-5028

A brief listing of the collection is available:

Orchestral Dance Music Collection

The Orchestral Dance Music Collection comprises donations to the Warren D. Allen Music Library from Charles O. Delaney, George E. Parry, and other donors. It features a variety of genres and compositions that rose to prominence throughout the early 1900s to late 1950s. It spans over 86 years of sheet music written for a variety of performance forces.


Charles O. Delaney

Charles Delaney was Professor of Flute at Florida State University from 1976-2000. Professor Delaney came to FSU in 1976 following a 25 year tenure at the University of Illinois - Champaign-Urbana. During his musical career, he became internationally known through his accomplishments as a performer, teacher, composer, recording artist, conductor, and clinician.

George E. Parry

George E. Parry (1870-1954) was an orchestra director in Champaign, Illinois. This directorship followed a two year employment on the Illinois Central. He also served as Champaign township supervisor for four years.

Contact Information:
AML Special Collections
(850) 644-4698

An inventory of the collection is available:

Piano Rolls Collection

The concept of the player piano—a piano which uses a stream of perforated paper to play music automatically—dates from the late nineteenth century. Early versions provided only for notes, and relied upon a human operator using foot-pumping motion for power and to set an even tempo.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, a system was developed which allowed for tempo and dynamics to be included. These so-called "Reproducing Piano Rolls," which captured many of the nuances of the pianist, were among the first opportunities for pianists to leave a record of their performances. From roughly 1915 to 1930, the piano roll enjoyed it's greatest popularity. The library houses a collection of roughly 50 piano rolls from this era, including performances by Paderewski, Grainger and Artur Rubenstein.

There were several companies which manufactured Reproducing Piano Rolls." Of the library's collection, five rolls use the Ampico system; the rest are manufactured by Duo-Art (Aeolian Company). The condition of the rolls varies from item to item. The paper is at least seventy years old, and is showing signs of aging. Several of the rolls will need repair before they can be played. Others are no doubt still in sufficient condition to be played.

The library does not own equipment for playback of these rolls. Arrangements may be made for patrons who wish to use the rolls on outside equipment. Patrons seeking equipment to use the rolls should be aware that the Duo-Art and Ampico systems are incompatible with one another.

The collection is available for research by appointment in the music library.

Contact Information:
AML Special Collections
(850) 644-5028

Complete listing of piano rolls:

Head, Warren D. Allen Music Library

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Laura Gayle Green
Allen Music Library
College of Music, FSU
122 N. Copeland St.
Tallahassee, FL 32306
Website Skype Contact: lauragayle
Subjects: Music
The Florida State University Libraries

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