National Libraries Week: Music Libraries

As part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

Music Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

The British Library

The British Library not only holds an impressive collection of books available for reference, it is also home to the world famous Music Collections.


The collection consists of over 100,000 pieces of manuscript music and 1.5 million separate items of printed music, covering classical to contemporary and specialist music. Use Explore the British Library to search. To restrict your search to printed music, select Advanced Search, and choose ‘Scores’ from the drop-down menu ‘Material type’.

The team of specialist music staff in the British Library can also help you with research, as well as providing a photocopy service. Keep up with the latest news at their blog.


You will need to pre-register for a reader pass here, then bring the following to the British Library to complete the application:

  • Personal identification and proof of address
  • Full details of the items you need to see. Where possible you should provide specific references, including shelfmarks, from our catalogues.
  • Your Goldsmiths card.

Opening Hours

10am-8pm Monday

9.30am-8pm Tuesday – Thursday

9.30am-5pm Friday and Saturday

Closed Sunday

Westminster Music Library
160 Buckingham Palace Road,
London SW1W 9UD

Westminster Music Library

Located near Victoria station, this is one of the largest public specialist music libraries in the UK. Founded after the death of music critic Edwin Evans, his collection of books, letters, manuscripts and scores was donated and expanded to create the library.


The collection consists of books, scores, performance parts, choral sets and sheet music, as well as reference books and journals. The library is also home to the GLASS collection, over 700 CDs of the music of Mozart. Members can also take advantage of the library’s subscription to Naxos Music Library, an online collection of almost 2 million songs.

You can search online for songs, using the song index, or search everything else using the online catalogue. The Westminster Music Library website also features an excellent online resources page.


The library is run by Westminster Council, so anyone can join for free. You’ll need to bring proof of address and complete an application form at the library. Once you’re a member you can borrow up to 20 books or magazines, eight DVDs, eight CDs and eight audio books.

Opening Hours

11am-7pm Monday-Friday

10am-5pm Saturday

Closed Sunday


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