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Music Biographical Research: Books & Media

Overview Sources

The Cheng Library has a small, but useful Reference Collection, located on the first floor of the building.  While these items cannot be checked out, you may want to spend some time exploring the following resources (and others!).

Finding Books

Books & Media at the Cheng Library

When looking for books, scores, or media (videos or recordings), use the Books & Media tab on the library homepage.  This will show you materials that the Library owns, either in print (books, magazines, etc.) or electronically (streaming video, music, and eBooks).

Where is the Music???

Music @ Cheng Library

Because of the specialized nature of our Art (N) and Music (M) collections, these resources have been separated from the rest of our books, and are available along the front of the building, on the second floor.

Music Classification

The Library of Congress system classifies music using the M call number range:

  •   Music (Scores/Sheet Music)
  • ML  Literature on Music
  • MT  Instruction & Study (Theory/Technique)

Within these sections, music is usually organized by genre/instrumentation, THEN by composer.  

The Books & Media search is the easiest way to see what we have, or you can browse using this more detailed overview of the M Classification by the Library of Congress.

Finding Books & Media at the Cheng Library

To find books and media that our library owns, use the Books & Media tab on our homepage, or search for everything with the Search All option.

Start with one or two keywords, adding quotation marks ("") around concepts with more than one word: for example, "middle school" or "autism spectrum disorder"... quotes are not needed for single words, such as education or science.

Narrow your results using the limits on the right side of the results page.  You may see a lot of non-book items, so be sure to limit the Resource Type category to Books, if that's what you're looking for.

When you've found a book (or ebook!) that looks interesting, click the title to learn more about it, or (if it's Available), write down the location and call number and head to the shelves to get it!

If you see 'Available Online', the book or media is available online!

Living Jazz Archive

One of the great resources available on the William Paterson University campus is the Living Jazz Archive, which houses a collection of scores, recordings and other jazz-related artefacts.  Many of these items can be found in the Online Catalog, by limiting your search results to "Living Jazz Archive" from either the main search page or the results screen. 

Make arrangements with Dr. David Demsey (973-720-2320) to visit the Living Jazz Archive in College Hall.

Other Remote Online Catalogs with Large Music Holdings

Other Notable Library Catalogs

When conducting comprehensive research in music, your goal is to find as many resources on your topic as possible.  To do so, it can often be helpful to look in the online catalogs of other institions.  Especially those with well-known music programs. 

Below are a list of libraries whose catalogs you may want to explore: