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The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound: FIND

A discovery and access guide to Recorded Sound collections at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Getting Started

A New York Public Library Card is required for access to all collection materials. If you do not have one, you can apply online for a card here and pick it up at any of the Library's 92 locations. 

We also ask that you register for a Special Collections account. With this account you will have the ability to :

  • Arrange for a research visit to selected NYPL special collections locations.
  • Submit requests via links from the Research Catalog, the NYPL Archives Portal, and the Legacy Catalog.
  • Submit requests directly through your user account using a blank request form.
  • Propose visit dates and manage your special collections appointments.
  • Have secure access to information about your requests, and track and review all of your requests.


DISCLAIMER: Recorded Sound collection materials do not circulate and must be auditioned onsite at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Contact if you have questions!


Music & Recorded Sound Reference Desk

The Music & Recorded Sound Reference Desk is located on the third floor of the Library, along with the Billy Rose Theatre Division, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, and Theatre on Film and Tape (TOFT) Archive.Music & Recorded Sound Reference Signage

Staff members, knowledgeable in all aspects of recorded sound and music, are available to assist with in-person and telephone inquiries (212-870-1663) and call slip submissions.


NYPL Research Catalog

Use the NYPL Catalog to find audiovisual recordings, books, periodicals, and other Recorded Sound materials. Catalog stations are located in all NYPL locations and are also accessible offsite at  

Research Catalog Search tips: 
  • The limiters on the left side of the screen will refine searches for better results.
  • Recorded Sound materials typically have call numbers that begin with an *L  prefix. The asterisk * is part of the call number and must be included (e.g. *LDC, *LZR, *LE, *LDC, etc.).

Please Note: only items with statuses listed as "Available" can be requested. Please contact us at about items with "Unavailable" or "Preservation" statuses.

NYPL Archives and Manuscripts

Archives Portal

Search for Recorded Sound collections, initiate a research visit, submit a query, and access digitized material from online finding aids in Archives and Manuscripts.  The image indicates that portions of the collection have been digitized and are available onsite from the online finding aid or NYPL Digital Collections.


Fun Fact: the A/V Playback desk on the third floor of the library lends headphones if you don't have your own!


Digital Collections

Explore NYPL Digital Collections to find digitized materials from The New York Public Library's archives. New items are added daily and include streaming audio & video, prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and more. 


Search Tip: limit the results of your search to RHA for Recorded Sound collection materials.


The Edison Album

Fun Fact: the  Edison Album [1889-1900] which contains handwritten testimonials about the Thomas Edison phonograph from scholars, composers, and scientists, is in the Public Domain and viewable in Digital Collections from anywhere!

The Rigler Deutsch Index (RDI)

The Rigler Deutsch Index (RDI) is a union catalog on microfiche which indexes 78rpm discs held by The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded  Sound, in addition to the Library of Congress' Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound DivisionBelfer Audio Laboratory and Archive at Syracuse University; Yale University Collection of Historical Sound Recordings; and the Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound.

The RDI is useful for finding uncataloged discs. Visit the third-floor Music and Recorded Sound Reference Desk to learn how to access and search for recordings in this valuable resource!

Card Catalogs and Print Finding Aids

Main Card Catalog

Find recordings cataloged between 1965 and 1980 in the card files located on the third floor of the Library. This catalog contains listings for recordings cataloged between 1965-1980. The entries are arranged by composer, title, subject, and artist.  

The green bound version of this catalog, published by G. K. Hall and Company, is also available onsite and in reference libraries throughout the world.

Requesting selections:

  • If the card includes call numbers beginning with*LT-10, *LT-7,*LZR, etc. in the upper right side, include this information when filling out a request slip.
  • If no call number appears on the card, use the underlined record company name and issue number as the call number (e.g. Victor 15609).

WNEW Card Catalog 

This collection of 78 rpm and 45 rpm recordings of popular music and jazz were donated by the WNEW radio station when it solely began playing vinyl LP records. 

Requesting selections:

  • Copy the letters WNEW and the series of letters and numbers appearing on the card as the call number on the request slip.
  • Include the performer and title of the desired selection, along with your name. 

Please Note: if you have located material in the title section (blue catalog), you must cross-check the listing in the performer (red catalog) to ensure that the desired selection is available for listening. Filing in the WNEW catalog ignores the spaces between the words. The work “If,” for example, files between “I enjoy...” and “I gave...”.

Print Finding Aids

Finding aids for some unpublished archival collections are available in binders on top of the Main Card Catalog. 

Please consult with a Music & Recorded Sound librarian to request selections from the finding aids in binders.