Music Collections

The music collections at Uppsala University Library consist of printed and hand-written sheet music, from the 13th century and onwards. The collections reflect music in various environments, for example Swedish and foreign monasteries, royal and princely courts, middle-class homes and the University itself.

There is also a large collection of printed popular song sheet music from the middle of the 20th century. The music collections also include modern issues of the complete works of many composers, and up-to-date Swedish printed sheet music.

Search and find music collections

About the music collections

The collections have been built up since the 17th century through donations, exchanges and purchases. A large group of older printed sheet music is the spoils of war from the 30-year war in the 17th century, while more modern Swedish printed music has been acquired through mandatory deliveries.

Some of the Library’s most eminent musical treasures are the Düben collection with music from the 17th and early 18th centuries, Cancionero de Uppsala, a unique printed work of Spanish music from the 16th century, and Mozart’s own draft of a section from his most played opera, The Magic Flute. The collections also include the Gimo collection from Gimo Manor and Leufsta music collection from Lövstabruk Manor and Works. Some collections have links to individual composers, such as the Hugo Alfvén collection and the Joseph Martin Kraus collection.

You can buy recordings of the music in the collections from the shop in the entrance hall to Carolina Rediviva.

From the music collections

The general music collections: from over the years

The Library's general music collections stretch in time from the Hymn of Magnus for two voices, written on the Orkney Islands in the 13th century, to last year's “top hits”. 

The Library has one of Sweden's absolute best collections of older music, both in manuscript and print. There are many treasures in the collections. There is, for example, a unique flute sonata by Vivaldi and drafts of Allan Pettersson's second symphony.

The Swedish printed scores in the Library are, like other printed materials in Sweden, a result of the law about legal deposits. Works of Swedish composers such as Stenhammar and Rosenberg were often published in Denmark and therefore not included in the legal deposits. So unfortunately we do not have a complete collection of Swedish music, but we do have a great deal. Collected editions of many of the works of our greatest composers such as Bach, Mozart and Wagner are also here.

Ever since 1986, the Library's printed scores have been catalogued in the Swedish national library catalogue Libris and you can also find them in our local library catalogue. Requests must however be made by hand on our loan request forms. Scores may not be borrowed for home use, but copies can be ordered or can be requested for study in the special collections reading room. Exceptions to this rule may be made in certain circumstances for music scholars.

Besides the general music collection, there is also sheet music in other handwritten and music collections, primarily in the Gimo collection and the Leufsta collection. Music can also be part of individual archives.

Search and find music collections

Catalogues available online

Music scores are also included in the following catalogues of collections in Uppsala University Library:

  • Medieval music manuscripts in Uppsala University Library in the Catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts. In German only (digitised paper catalogue).
  • Aurivillius. A catalogue printed in 1814 of music prints, books and journals held at the Uppsala University Library prior to 1797 (digitised paper catalogue).
  • LIBRIS. The Swedish National Library catalogue. This includes printed music produced in Sweden.

Likewise, music scores in Uppsala University Library are included in these database catalogues:

  • Düben Collection Database Catalogue. A catalogue of the Düben Collection in Uppsala University Library. This collection consists of vocal and instrumental music from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These are mainly manuscripts. Numerous scores have been scanned and are accessible online in the database.
  • RISM. An international catalogue of music prints and music manuscripts before approx. 1800, including those of Uppsala University Library.

Some treasures

The music collections have sheet music of great international interest. Here are some of the treasures from the Library’s music collections:

Cancionero de Uppsala - a unique collection of Spanish vocal music, printed in Venice in 1556 [ 611]

Düben collection - a collection from the Swedish great power period, with Italian, German, French and Swedish vocal and instrumental music.

Mozart’s manuscript music - includes the freemason cantata Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls Schöpfer ehrt (KV 619) and a draft for The Magic Flute (KV 620) and La clemenza di Tito (KV 621) [Vok.mus.hs. 133]

Last modified: 2022-11-29