Book Shelves and a Painting of Stephen Foster in the Center for American Music

Doing Research in Our Collections

Using Our Collections

Follow the links below to learn more about how to use our collections.

Finding Aids

Although the majority of our holdings are catalogued as part of the University of Pittsburgh's online catalog (Pittcat), we have created finding aids for a number of non-catalogued collections.

The following finding aids are available online:

  • Foster Hall Collection: The Foster Hall Collection consists of music manuscripts, Stephen Foster’s bound sketchbook, his bound account book, his personal and family correspondence, musical instruments, business records, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera. As the centerpiece of the Center for American Music’s library, the collection provides a valuable record of Foster’s composition process, nineteenth-century life in the United States, the music business, Pittsburgh history, and Foster’s legacy. Digital reproductions of portions of the collection are available online.
  • Edison Cylinder Collection: The Edison Cylinder Collection represents both the songs and the sound recording technology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The songs range from Christmas tunes to Stephen Foster melodies and showcase American Popular Music through Thomas Edison's innovations.
  • The Rosemary Casey Sound Recording Collection: A collection of LPs from RCA mostly dating from around the late 1940s, donated to the collection by Rosemary Casey, who worked for RCA at that time creating their catalog as well as writing liner notes for the records. This collection includes mostly classical and opera recordings, along with many Christmas, International, and even some Test Pressings.
  • Charles Henry Pace Gospel Music Collection: A collection consisting of 678 record albums ranging in genre from Rock & Roll to Classical, acquired over time by Dr. Charles Hamm during his career as a musicologist and professor of music. The collection represents the wide variety and scope of American music through the early- to late-twentieth century.
  • The Charles Hamm Recording Collection: The records of the Charles Henry Pace Gospel Music Collection exist in various forms such as printer’s plates, negative proofs, and printed music. The collection provides a valuable research tool of not only Charles Henry Pace’s career, but also for demonstrating how the Old Ship of Zion Music Company and Charles H. Pace Music Publishers conducted business. While the date range of the collection comprises 1927-1958, the bulk of the material dates from 1943-1947.
  • The Robert Schmertz Collection: The Robert Schmertz Collection contains instruments, concert posters and programs, music manuscripts, published scores, songbooks, photos, and sound recordings of Schmertz's own performances and those of the major recording artists who recorded his works, including Burl Ives and Pete Seeger.
  • Josiah K. Lilly Correspondence: The Josiah K. Lilly Correspondence contains correspondence regarding the impetus of the Foster Hall Collection, development, research, and documentation of the collection at Foster Hall at Lilly's home in Indianapolis, Lilly's relationship with the University of Pittsburgh, and the donation and transfer of the Collection to the University to be housed in the Stephen Foster Memorial. Among the various topics covered in the correspondence are John Tasker Howard's research and publication of his biography of Foster, Evelyn Foster Morneweck's biography of her uncle, Lilly's dealings with rare book dealers, the creation of the Foster Hall Recordings and Foster Hall Reproductions, and Lilly's contact with various Foster descendants.
  • Foster Hall Collection Curatorial Correspondence: The Foster Hall Collection Curatorial Correspondence consists of correspondence, financial records, requests for printed materials, and operational reports generated by the Foster Hall Collection from the 1930s until Fletcher Hodges, Jr.'s, retirement in 1982.
  • Ethelbert Nevin Collection: The collection contains compositions by Ethelbert Nevin (1862-1901), a composer from Sewickley, Pa. In addition to his published songs and unpublished manuscripts, this collection houses correspondence to and from him, photographs of him and his family, press write-ups about him and his works, plus a number of his material possessions.
  • Adolph M. Foerster Collection: The Adolph M. Foerster Collection contains manuscripts and printed scores of Foerster’s music, articles written by the composer, newspaper clippings concerning the composer (and the performance of his music), photographs, letters, and “notes” in the composer’s hand.
  • Joe Negri Collection: The Joe Negri Collection contains the original scores, notes, and sound recordings documenting Joe Negri's career from his earliest days performing with his brother, through his years at then Carnegie Tech, up to his current work as a jazz guitarist.

We are in the process of digitizing our other finding aids. Paper finding aids are available for the following collections:

  • The John and Susan Harvith Collection
  • The Guide to the Center for American Music
  • Center for American Music Recordings
  • Center for American Music Photo Index

Contact Us

Center for American Music
Stephen Foster Memorial
University of Pittsburgh
4301 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Starting August 23, 2021, the Center for American Music Library and Stephen Foster Museum will be open by appointment only.

To request access, please send us a request at least 48 hours in advance.

You do not have to be affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh to use the Collection. 

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