Online sheet music projects and metadata from a public service perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As historic sheet music collections enter the public domain, they are becoming increasingly popular as content for digital library projects. This newfound plethora of sheet music citations and images online has generated many patron inquiries. Patrons often cannot, or do not, distinguish sources that are found in the online catalog from those found through a Google search. To them the results are all "on the web." It is oftentimes the Reference Librarian's job to redirect the patron to the correct citation or even another library. Since library staff members answering reference queries about sheet music may or may not be the same ones involved in creating the online sheet music collections, knowledge of how these online collections are structured and metadata applied can be helpful in addressing reference queries. This article gives an overview of how issues related to patron discovery of and access to both the collections and their contents are directly related to the quantity and quality of the metadata found with the collections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMusic Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Metadata
  • Open Archives Initiative (OAI)
  • Sheet music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music
  • Library and Information Sciences


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