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Guide to Music Publishers' Catalogs: Finding Music Publisher Catalogs in the Music Division

How to find music publishers' catalogs in the Music Division and why they are important for research. Guide by Bob Kosovsky.

Finding Music Publishers' Catalogs in the Music Division

In the Music Division, the vast majority of publisher catalogs are classified under the old Billings classification system (used for classification prior to 1972) where the call number/classmark begins with an asterisk: 


The Music Division has thousands of publisher catalogs.  Most of them are not cataloged or inventoried and thus can not be found through the catalog. Names of individuals and firms have not been regularized based on standard use.  One can submit a call slip with the classmark *MCP and put down the name of a publisher to see what the Division has. For example:

Class mark:  *MCP

Author:  Eulenburg

In the case of publishers who used their name as part of their corporate name (such as C.F. Peters, later commonly known as Edition Peters), one should submit slips with a variety of options:

  • C.F. Peters    or

  • Peters, C.F.    or

  • Edition Peters

Publishers' catalog image

Selection of music publishers' catalogs on the shelf

A portion of the Music Division's publishers' catalogs

Sample Call Slip

Sample Call Slip

Sample Call Slip - Variant Company Names

Sample Call Slip - Variant Company Names