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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides



Finding Resources


As a Music student, you are expected to find and use high quality literature. You'll need to use a range of different sources and demonstrate your ability to find good results in order to impress your tutors and to develop your research skills.




Books can be a great place to start your reading around a topic.


Music books are located in the LM section in the John Paynter Music Library, located on the ground floor of the Harry Fairhurst Library. Many books will also be available online as e-books. Look for the links in YorSearch, under the View It section of each book.

Shelf location Subject
LM Music
LM 1 Theory and technique of music
LM 4 Vocal music
LM 5 Instrumental ensemble(s) and their music
LM 11- LM 99 Scores

Key Music E-Book Collections



The Library has a large collection of scores in a range of formats including print, electronic, and microfiche. All of the scores, regardless of format, are listed on the Library Catalogue Yorsearch. Print scores are located in the John Paynter Music Library on the ground floor of the Fairhurst. Read more guidance on finding and using print scores.

Electronic scores

You can search for e-scores by title on YorSearch, or you may prefer to browse the collections here:


The Music Microfiche collection is an amazing resource containing thousands of facsimile images of early music manuscripts. As the name suggests, the images are vastly reduced in size, meaning that you need to use a special machine to read them. The microfiche are housed in the main reading room of the Burton Library and you can search for their exact locations on YorSearch.

Once you have located the microfilm reel that you wish to view you need to take it into the Borthwick's microfilm room which can be accessed via their reception, across the landing from the Burton reading room. There are a number of microfiche readers available to use, including two that allow you to save relevant extracts that you find onto a memory stick.

Audiovisual Resources


The resources below give you access to recordings of works created or adapted for live performance, film, & radio, in addition to interviews with composers, performers, authors, producers and other experts in the field on their creative processes.


Musical indexes

Free online scores

Bibliographic Databases


To start a more detailed search for articles and other research evidence, you'll need to use bibliographic databases. These are large indexes that allow you to search for articles from hundreds of different journals at the same time. The databases do not necessarily give you access to the full text, instead they will usually include the citation information and a brief abstract that gives a summary of the work. If you find citations for resources that we don't hold at York you can request the full text via the "Tell us what you need" link on YorSearch.

The University holds many subject specific bibliographic databases as listed below. If your work is more interdisciplinary we recommend using one of the larger databases such as Web of Science which, despite the name, covers all subject areas and allows you to search effectively across multiple disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Humanities Subject Specific Databases

Archaeology/History/Medieval Studies



History of Art

Language & Linguistics



Journals & databases

All journal titles are listed on YorSearch, and can be found by searching the journal title.

If you don't have a specific title in mind, you can browse journals in your subject area on Browzine. Journals are organised by field of research, such as:

Newspapers & Magazines


Historic and contemporary newspaper & magazine collections. These resources can be a valuable tool when researching, giving insight into how a specific topic has been perceived by the general public over time.