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Music for Silent Film: A Guide to Resources at the Library of Congress

Music Division

The Music Division's special collections include the manuscripts and papers of several composers who wrote for silent film. Also relevant are collections of opera singers such as Geraldine Farrar, who became stars of the silent screen. This page outlines how to navigate these collections and their materials.

Special Collections Overview

The Music Division holds over six 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 special collections through two primary gateways:

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.

Highlighted Special Collections for Silent Film Music

The following collections include materials relevant to research in music for silent film. 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.