Historic American Sheet Music, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University

Additional Resources


During the course of the indexing it seemed appropriate to transcribe the lyrics for selected items. Many of them are famous songs or were in response to specific inquiries from users of the collections here at Duke.


During the selection and indexing of the collection many books and articles were helpful in assigning dates of publication and distinguishing one name from another. These sources, along with other works that provide historical context for the music or events, are listed in the Bibliography. The number of Internet sites that provide information complementary to this project have grown rapidly over the past several years. A selection of these resources are listed in Other Sheet Music Sites and Projects.

African American Composers

Duke University coordinated with Brown University's Library of Congress/Ameritech African-American Sheet Music Digitizing Project to avoid duplication of titles between the two projects. As a result, it was sometimes necessary to identify African American composers/lyricists, performers and publishers. While there was no systematic attempt made to find all of the African Americans who contributed to the musical life in the United States, some people were identified who were or might have been of African ancestry. We made a crude list and make it available as part of this project to promote the study of African American cultural and artistic endeavors.

Women Composers and Lyricists

The list is drawn from all of the Duke sheet music collections, not merely the Historic American Sheet Music project. It was not systematically made, but was created as the names were encountered during indexing.

Other Sheet Music Sites and Projects

Selected sites for other sheet music collections, historical information, and projects.


On April 3, 1998, Ameritech, the Library of Congress and Duke University Libraries celebrated the awarding of the grant with a concert and dance demonstration. The Pitchforks, an a capella student ensemble led by Ben Ward, presented the music listed in the program and Barbara Dickinson, director of the Dance Program at Duke, demonstrated and then taught the audience how to perform the Cakewalk.

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