A publisher catalog is a list of works that are available for sale by the publisher. While today we may think of a publisher as a major corporation, in earlier times, publishers were often one-person or family operations. Publishers' catalogs can be varied. Small publishers might issue anywhere from a single page to several pages, while major publishers could issue a hefty pamphlet or even a modest-sized volume resembling a book. No matter the size, the intention of a publisher catalog was to list the works available for sale.
The history of history of music is intimately tied to the history of publishing and printing. One can not fully understand the social, cultural, commercial and historical context of musical works without understanding composers’ relationships to music publishers.
A portion of the Music Division's publishers' catalogs