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About the Marvin Duchow Music Library



Collection description



The Marvin Duchow Music Library is one of the most important academic music collections in Canada. The collection consists of over 200,000 music scores, recordings, books, journals, and online resources. One of the 13 branches of the McGill Library, the Music Library provides resources and services to support the performance, composition, research, and teaching programs of the Schulich School of Music. It also serves the McGill University community at large. Members of the general public are welcome to consult the Library.


The Music Library is located on three floors of McGill’s Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, with the entry on the 3rd floor.

3rd floor

  • Scores collection
  • Oversized collection
  • Music reference collection
  • Rare materials and special collections

4th floor

  • Audio/video collections and equipment
  • Music production hardware and software

5th floor

  • Gertrude Whitley Performance Library
  • Music Student Computer Room
  • Books
  • Journals

Collection description

The Marvin Duchow Music Library's mandate is to collect and provide access to the wide variety of materials needed to study musical works. As a result, the collection consists of printed scores, sound and video recordings, books and journals, as well as musical, textual, graphics-based, and multimedia data in a variety of formats.

At the subject level, historic Music Library collection strengths include Renaissance scores in modern scholarly editions, materials to support the study of Baroque performance practice, and works in the history of music theory. More recent collection development has focused on jazz sound recordings, 20th-century scores, and books and journals to support programmes and research in music technology and sound recording engineering.

Holdings in the Music Library Special Collections Room include the David Edelberg/Handel Collection; manuscript scores and correspondence of 20th-century composers Julius Schloss, Marvin Duchow, and Kelsey Jones; the opera vocal scores of Pauline Donalda; the papers of music critic Eric McLean; and numerous 18th- and 19th-century performing and study editions of German and French repertoire.


The Marvin Duchow Music Library is wheelchair accessible, with an internal elevator providing easy access to each floor. Accessible washrooms are located on all 3 floors.

Most of the Music Library's services and facilities have been adapted for use by all clients. However, access to certain rooms inside the Library, such as seminar rooms, might be problematic as the doors do not yet have buttons that provide for automatic opening.

Library staff members are pleased to assist any client in need. Please alert a member of the full-time staff to any concerns, problems, or questions concerning accessibility issues.

You are also invited to share your Library-related accessibility stories or concerns with the Accessibility Working Group of the Schulich School of Music.

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