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Amy Beach: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

Special Collections

The Music Division does not hold an Amy Beach collection, but many special collections hold primary sources by or related to the composer. This page highlights some of those materials and describes how to search for additional materials in the Library's collections.

Access Note: Some collections are housed off-site and require advance notice to retrieve. Contact us using our Ask a Librarian service if you have questions about researching a specific collection.
Women composers, 4/23/24. 1924. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Photograph shows composers (from left to right) Phyllis Fergus (1887-1964), Ethel Glenn Hier (1889-1971), Amy Beach (1867-1944), Harriet Ware (1878-1972), and Gena Branscombe (1881-1977) in McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.

Special collections accessed through the Performing Arts Reading Room consist of the papers of individuals, organizations, and collectors significant to research in music, theater, and dance. Special collections materials can include:

  • Correspondence
  • Newspaper or magazine clippings
  • Photographs
  • Printed or handwritten music

The Music Division holds over five hundred named special collections in music, theater, and dance. Collections vary in size from fewer than a dozen items to more than half a million. Many of these collections are processed and have finding aids online. Others are in varying stages of processing and may have guides, inventories, or print finding aids available on-site.

Find more materials in special collections relevant to Beach by searching with the Finding Aids Tool or by browsing the Music Division's list of Special Collections on the Performing Arts Reading Room webpage. Collections with no finding aids or other guides are described by brief catalog records in the Online Catalog.

Many special collections in the Music Division contain correspondence not only to and from Amy Beach but also between other individuals who knew her personally and discussed her music. The following list includes select examples of special collections with these kinds of correspondence.

Provided links are for finding aids (descriptive documents of collection contents) or collection-level catalog records if finding aids are not yet completed. Both finding aids and catalog records contain collection content summaries.

Although it is not a named special collection, the call number ML95 .B38 holds correspondence from Amy Beach. The correspondence under this call number has no online catalog record. Additional correspondence with Beach also exists in other internal Music Division collection files. Contact us through Ask A Librarian to access these materials.

The A. P. Schmidt Company published Beach's music throughout her career. In addition to correspondence with Amy Beach, the A. P. Schmidt Company archives include the vast majority of the musical works Schmidt published.

Collections with materials relevant to Amy Beach exist in other divisions within the Library of Congress. For example, both the Marian MacDowell papers and MacDowell Colony records in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division include correspondence, administrative papers, and other ephemera related to Beach and her career. Contact the Manuscript Division collection for questions about these collections.