Music Literature

Core Resources

Bloomsbury Popular Music (now called Bloomsbury Music and Sound)

Provides scholarly coverage of modern popular music worldwide, from the early 20th century to the present day, by cross-searching the 14-volume Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World; all 120+ volumes of the 33 1/3 book series (providing in-depth analysis of influential albums); an expanding range of scholarly books from Bloomsbury’s Popular Music Studies; and titles in the new 33 1/3 Global book series. This resource explores the historical origins and cultural impact of popular music, influential artists and albums, local music scenes and subcultures, musical form, instruments, the workings of the music industry, and the social, political, and economic context of different musical genres.  

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

Offers full-text runs scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color of core U.S. and U.K. trade papers and magazines covering film, popular music, broadcasting (television and radio), and theater, together with film fan magazines and music press titles, through 2000. Key titles will include Billboard (1894-2000), Broadcasting (1931-2000), New Musical Express, The Stage (1880-2000), and Variety (1905-2000), among many others. Provides a broad spectrum of valuable research material for multidisciplinary study of the film and media industries.

MGG Online: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart

The foremost German-language general encyclopedia of international musicology with in-depth articles on all aspects of music and its history as well as many related areas such as literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. This dynamic online version of MGG continuously expands upon the content of the 29-volume 1994-2008 second edition with ongoing updates and additions. Composer articles offer outstanding, sortable worklists as well as discographies for popular music artists. Most biographical entries provide related content links to citations in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text. The built-in Google translate option produces mixed results in English and should be used with caution.

Music Periodicals Database

Indexes music journals covering a broad scope of research from performance, theory and composition to music education, jazz and ethnomusicology. Provides selected full text coverage of the most important music journals, and both scholarly and popular publications.

Music & Performing Arts (Alexander Street)

Portal page from Alexander Street for all their streaming audio and video, full-text, and image resources in music and the performing arts to which Princeton subscribes. Includes American, classical, popular, and world music, jazz, dance, theater, and film.

Music Index with Full Text 1970+

Includes international music periodicals covering classical, popular and world of music. Comprehensively cites articles and news about music, musicians and the music industry as well as book and concert reviews and obituaries.

Music Industry Data

Licensed datasets from Billboard, the Official Charts Company (UK), GfK Entertainment (Germany), and many other international reporting agencies that chart & rank the sales of top recorded popular music albums & singles from the 1950s to current. Also provides streaming audio links to copyright-cleared sound samples for most cited tracks & albums, and links to articles in  popular music journals & on websites. Tools allow users to graph, analyze, compare, and contrast musical trends & interactions, and to extract & compare charting data for sound recording sales. Includes a module on the cultural impact of recorded music.

Oxford Bibliographies: Music

Expanding resource of detailed, up-to-date bibliographies on composers, key terms, concepts and genres, and numerous aspects of music history and theory, world and popular music, musical instruments, dance, and many other topics compiled by experts in their fields.

Oxford Music Online

Biographical articles for composers, performers, librettists, conductors and others. Includes entries from Grove dictionaries of jazz and opera as well.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text

A comprehensive, international bibliography of current and past literature on classical, traditional, and popular music, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, instruments and voice, and dance written in over 140 languages featuring citations, abstracts, and indexes supplemented with full-text content from over 200 key music periodicals. Coverage includes journal articles, reviews, and other featured content, obituaries, essay collections, conference reports, festschrifts, monographs, and dissertations primarily from the early 20th century to the present, with some pre-1900 titles. Includes writings in the dramatic and visual arts, literature, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, physics, and other fields if related to music.

RIPM Jazz Periodicals

A full-text, cover-to-cover collection of over 100  jazz journals and magazines published in the United States from 1914 to 2000 overseen by the Répertoire international de la Press Musicale (RIPM). The largely rare American periodicals in this resource explore the genre’s roots in blues, ragtime, and Dixieland, continuing on through the swing and big band era of the 1930s and 40s, to the birth and development of bebop, West Coast jazz, cool jazz, and free jazz.

RIPM: Retrospective Index, Online Archive, and E-Library of Music Periodicals 1760-1966

Combines a highly annotated database providing detailed analyses of writings on musical history and culture with links to two searchable, full-text collections of over 165 rare music magazines and journals dating between 1760 and 1966.

RISM Catalog

Open access catalog of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (International Inventory of Musical Sources), documenting over one million manuscript and print musical sources from the holdings of hundreds of libraries and archives around the world. Contains RISM series A/I (Music Prints before 1800, now expanding into the early nineteenth century), A/II (Music Manuscripts after 1600), and part of B/I (Printed Anthologies Issued 1500-1550). Search by composer, title, thematic catalog number, music incipit, library, and other options. A growing number of catalog entries include links to digitized sources. Also known as the RISM-OPAC and RISM Online. Note: RISM catalogs concerning writings on music theory (medieval to 1800) and specialized music repertories are available in print only.

Rock's Backpages: The Online Library of Rock Writing 1950s+

Full-text, expanding archive of selective interviews, feature articles, reviews, and more on rock and a wide range of popular music (including blues and soul) from the music and mainstream press, updated weekly. The homepage includes links to highlights, audio and video interviews, blogs, and many other features beyond the ultimate archive of rock music writing and journalism.

Supplementary Resources

African American Music Reference

Brings together text reference, biographies, chronologies, sheet music, images, lyrics, liner notes, and discographies which chronicle the history and culture of the African American experience through music. The database will expand to include coverage of blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression.

American Memory (Library of Congress)

Provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning. Also see the collections that have not yet migrated.

Contemporary Musicians

Biographical information on noteworthy figures active in music mostly since the late 1980s, covering artists working in all musical genres, including classical, rock, jazz, pop, rap, rhythm and blues, folk, New Age, country, gospel, and reggae.

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television

Biographical and career information on professionals currently working in the entertainment industry, including performers, choreographers, directors, technicians, writers, composers, producers, executives, designers, and critics.

Doctoral Dissertation in Musicology

International database of completed and in-progress dissertations with abstracts.


Partially searchable digital images of books, primarily British, printed in the eighteenth century. Based on the Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue.  Also see the alternative interface Artemis Primary Sources that allows users to analyze content using frequency and term-relationship tools. 

Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Covers popular music of all genres including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music. Also covers popular music genres, trends, styles, record labels, venues, and music festivals. Key dates, biographies, & further reading are provided for artists covered, along with complete discographies.

Film Index International

Information resource for entertainment films and personalities produced in collaboration with the British Film Institute. With a scholarly, inclusive approach to all areas of film studies - from the very first silent movies, to art house classics or the latest blockbusters - indexes films from over 170 countries.

Gallica: la bibliotheque numerique

Digital library of French and francophone culture maintained by the Bibliotheque nationale de France. Contains numerous electronic texts, images, maps, music scores, animation, and sound files of French and other publications and manuscripts in history, literature, music, art, science, philosophy, law, economics, and political science.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

Comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. More than 9,000 pages of material, combined with entries by more than 700 expert contributors from all over the world, focusing on world music.

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text

Provides extensive full-text of articles, reviews, & other content from many leading, primarily English-language journals & magazines in theater, dance, & the performing arts (1995+). Also offers citations, abstracts, & some full text for articles, books, book chapters, & dissertations back to 1982, including the complete International Bibliography of Theatre (1982-99). Additional selective content dates back to 1929.


Full text archive of core journals in select disciplines. Journal issues from the most recent 3-5 years are usually NOT available electronically through JSTOR.  Also includes full text of many Princeton University Press books as well as books in Classics from many university presses.

National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC)

Policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States. This project was formerly the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA).

Oxford Bibliographies: Music

Expanding resource of detailed, up-to-date bibliographies on composers, key terms, concepts and genres, and numerous aspects of music history and theory, world and popular music, musical instruments, dance, and many other topics compiled by experts in their fields.

Performing Arts Periodicals Database

Comprehensive coverage of the performing arts, including dance, film, television, drama, theater, stagecraft, musical theater, broadcast arts, comedy, opera, and more. IIPA indexes more than 210 periodicals. Full text is available from 1998 to the present; citations to articles are indexed back to 1864.

Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest: Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975

Interdisciplinary digital resource featuring substantial archival collections of original printed and manuscript sources, visual material, ephemera, and video clips focused on music, politics, fashion, youth culture, consumerism, changing life styles, human rights, equality, and war and peace in the United States and Great Britain, 1950-1975.

Victorian Popular Culture

Contains a wide range of source material relating to popular entertainment in America, Britain and Europe in the period from 1779 to 1930. Coverage includes spiritualism, sensation and magic; circuses, sideshows and freaks; and music halls; theater and popular entertainment.

Subject Librarian(s)

Mendel Music Librarian
(609) 258-4251
Woolworth Music Center