The principal music collections in the University are to be found in the Bodleian Library and the Music Faculty Library. Some colleges also hold significant historic collections of music materials.
The music collections of the Bodleian Library comprise a research collection of over 500,000 items of printed music from the 16th century onwards, large numbers of manuscripts from medieval times to the present day, and many books and periodicals, based in part on British legal deposit material, but also rich in donated and purchased items. Classical, popular and non-western musical traditions are all represented. All material is for reference only.
The Music Faculty Library provides for the borrowing needs of students (both undergraduate and postgraduate), researchers and senior members. It supports both taught courses and research interests, in most cases by duplicating core books and journals held in the Bodleian. Most of the stock is for loan and consists of nearly 18,000 items of printed music and about 18,000 books and journals. In addition, the library houses the main collection of sound recordings in the University with over 5,000 CDs, 15,000 LPs, and a large number of DVDs and VHS videos.