Primary source: In scholarship, a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic. Primary sources include original manuscripts, articles reporting original research or thought, diaries, memoirs, letters, journals, photographs, drawings, posters, film footage, sheet music, songs, interviews, government documents, public records, eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, etc. Glossary of Library and Research Terms.
A book which is the edited text of a manuscript, diary, or other type of primary source is also a primary source. Thus, the printed editions of The Parliament rolls of medieval England 1275 - 1504 is also a primary source even though it was published in 2005.
The two databases below provide access to historical music periodicals. Many are from the 18th and 19th centuries, but they also cover the first half of the 20th century. There is no overlap between these two RIPM collections.
For major composers, you can often find books devoted to their correspondence or diaries. A good way to find them is with an Author/Creator search in OneSearch, starting with the composer's name (last name first). Below the main heading for the composer, look at the more detailed headings to see if there is one for correspondence or diaries. If so, click on the heading for a list of items.
When scanning the list of headings, keep an eye out for other types of works that may contain primary sources. For example: "Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791 Anecdotes."
For more sources written by those in a composer's sphere of influence, try a Subject search for "Music Patrons" or "Composers--[COUNTRY]--Correspondence." To catch any relevant works that do not have the proper subject headings (and there are a few), you can use an Advanced Keyword search. For example:
NOTE: The connecting words--"OR" in this example, must be in UPPER CASE.
In OneSearch, you would probably want to limit such a search to books.
In addition to circulating materials and reference works, the Baylor Libraries own special collections and archives--research materials that are rare, unique, fragile, and/or highly valuable. You are welcome to use these items in your research, but you will need to submit a request form and schedule an appointment.
To see examples of available collections, visit the Special Collections & Archives page on the Crouch Library website.