In addition to an extensive collection of scores, books, periodicals and recordings, the University of Louisville Music Library holds a number of unique resources for original research in music history.

The Gerhard Herz Collection

Renowned Bach scholar Gerhard Herz, who taught at U of L from 1938 to 1978, left his career-spanning collection of research materials to the university, among which are photographic reproductions of most of Bach's manuscripts from 1704 to 1750, notably those in the Berlin State Library (2,065 items, many of them autographs), as well as lecture notes and notes for his extensive body of published work. The collection also includes microfilm, positive prints of Bach manuscripts, and offprints of Herz’s articles.

The Grawemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music

The Grawemeyer Collection comprises over 2,500 music scores and recordings submitted to the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition since its inception in 1985. Some of these materials remain unpublished and are accessible only in the Music Library. Winners of the award have included John Adams, Thomas Adès, Pierre Boulez, Karel Husa, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun and Joan Tower.

The Isidore Philipp Archive

Isidore Philipp (1863-1958) was a French pianist whose teachers included students of both Chopin and Liszt. His friendship with Dwight Anderson, the first Dean of the School of Music, led to the establishment here of the Philipp Archive, including Philipp's compositions and exercises as well as his editions of music by Liszt and other composers. Also included are sound recordings, photographs, correspondence and other memorabilia.

The Jean Thomas Collection

Jean Thomas (“the Traipsin' Woman”; 1881-1982) was the producer of the American Folk Song Festival in Ashland, KY through its entire history (1931 – 1972). This is a collection of materials related to the festival.

The Louisville Imprint Collection

A collection of some 1,500 songs, piano solos and other compositions from mid-nineteenth century Louisville music publishers.

The Ricasoli Collection

The Ricasoli Collection is part of a private music library of over 400 manuscripts and early prints, some rare, assembled by the Florentine branch of the Ricasoli Zanchini family between 1750 and 1860. It includes both sacred and secular repertory.