About the Holdings of the Music Department
The Music Department of the NL preserves and makes accessible collections of printed and manuscript sheet music and further documents connected with music (books on music, specialised musicological journals, correspondence, librettos and others) originating mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The most extensive component of the holdings is the collection of music prints, comprising about 110 000 items. The collection is being systematically created from the establishment of the Music Department in 1923.
The domestic production of sheet music is complemented on the basis of legal deposit copy. Thanks to the efforts of the founder of the Music Department, Ladislav Vycpálek (1882-1969), also the earlier production of of Czech, primarily Prague´s music publishing houses, is represented in these holdings almost in its entirety, especially from the beginning of the 20th century (F. A. Urbánek, Mojmír Urbánek, Hudební matice Umělecké besedy, Barvitius, Hoffmann, Chadím, Šolc and others), and from 1935 also Slovak production.
Foreign sheet music has been acquired selectively. The titles from the area of classical music for study and research purposes are the priority. Performance materials are acquired only exceptionally, the main focus is on scores and modern complete critical editions.
A part of the collection of music prints are numerous titles from the 19th as well as 18th centuries, sporadically even earlier, which already are of the character of historical documents. The collection is universal both in the types and genres, which it contains, namely all genres of secular music, further also church music, with the genres of pop or jazz being no exception.
The collection of manuscript sheet music is less extensive. It amounts to approximately 5 500 items, containing a number of copies as well as augraphs from the 18th to 20th centuries. Several independent wholes like the musical collection of the schoolteacher family of the Strachotas from Panenský Týnec near Louny, the collection from the choir of the church in Koleč, a rare collection of a generation of schoolteachers and musicians - the Hübners from Dlouhý Most and others have remained as a component of the collection of music manuscripts.
Another independent whole of the holdings of the Music Department is a collection of correspondence (ca 450 items) written by significant composers, musicians, musicologists and publishers, primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries. The letters are stored under the shelf mark 59 L and can be searched with the aid of an inventory list available in the Music Department.
One of the most valuable collection whole is the Mozart Memorial, a collection of period documents and printed editions as well handwritten copies of Mozart´s compositions.
A collection of microfilms comprises a selection of copies of mainly Bohemical music documents, produced and made accessible for study purposes with regard to the protection and preservation of unique music sources from both the Czech Republic and foreign libraries.
An inseparable component of the holdings of the Music Department is also an expansive reference library. It contains over 9000 volumes of musicological literature and a number of specialised periodicals, for major part accessible in open stacks.