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Irish Sheet Music Archives
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How do I find something (title of sheet music, author, performer) on this website?

You can use the search bar to find pieces of sheet music by title, publisher, creator, performer, date. If you navigate to Browse Collection, you can use the filter block to narrow down our sheet music holdings by gallery name, subjects, instruments, collections, date span, and publication place.

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What information is available for each piece of sheet music?

An entry for a piece of sheet music contains the following fields:

Title: The title of the piece of sheet music, including any subtitle information.

Additional Title: This field could be the title of a series that the song is included in or a larger work (such as a broadway play or film) where the song is featured.

First Line: The first line of the verse of the song (if applicable). (Note: this field is being added as we fully scan in the public domain sheet music. Not all items will have information in this field)

First Line of Chorus: The first line of the chorus of the song (if applicable): (Note: this field is being added as we fully scan in the public domain sheet music. Not all items will have information in this field)

Creator(s): This can include the name of the composer, lyricist, author, and/or illustrator of the piece of sheet music.

Additional Names: Names of other people associated with the piece of sheet music. This could be a performer pictured on the cover, a historical name mentioned in the lyrics, or another personality somehow associted with the sheet music.

Publication Date: The year the sheet music was published.

Instrumentation: The instruments (including voice) that the sheet music was composed for. (Note: this field is being added as we fully scan in the public domain sheet music. Not all items will have information in this field)

Subject: A thematic subject that catalogers assign to identify the piece of sheet music. (Note: this field is being added as we fully scan in the public domain sheet music. Not all items will have information in this field)

WIMA Collections: The collection that the sheet music belongs to at the Ward Irish Music Archives.

ID: The unique identification number given to each piece of sheet music when it's cataloged.

Publisher: The name of the company or individual who originally published the piece of sheet music.

Publication Place: The location of the publisher.

Historical Notes: Historical or background information about the piece of sheet music, the composer, or a personality associated with the object. (Not all items will have information in this field).

Lyrics: Coming soon! The text of the lyrics of the song.

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Why can I not view all the pieces of sheet music on the site?

Due to copyright concerns, we can only fully display materials in the public domain on the website. Any music published in the United States before 1923 is in the public domain. WIMA presumes that anything in this collection published since 1923 is protected under U.S. copyright laws and will not make digital copies available for viewing or download through this site. Sheet music in our collections published after 1923 will still be listed on this site so you can do further research if desired. Please contact us for information about obtaining copies of protected sheet music for personal research and study.

For public domain sheet music in our collection, we have all the covers digitized and are in the process of fully digitizing all pages of the music. Priority is given to pieces in our thematic galleries.

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I found a mistake. Who do I send it to?

Please contact us and let us know what the error is and which page you found it on (please include the URL if possible).

Please note that some pieces of sheet music may be imperfect; the particular copy in our collection may have been printed incorrectly or might be missing pages. These pieces are frequently included as-is due to the song's or piece’s historical importance.

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Do you have any music for (particular instrument)?

As we fully scan in the contents of the public domain sheet music, we are adding instrumentation to our catalog records. You can search on the instrument you are interested in on the search page or use the available filters found in Browse Collection.

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I have some old sheet music. How much is it worth? Do you want it for your collection?

Unfortunately we cannot appraise the value of collections, although a rare books or antiques dealer in your area may be able to help or refer you to an appraiser. You can also refer to a published price guide which may be available in your local library:

The sheet music reference & price guide by Marie-Reine A. Pafik and Anna Marie Guiheen. 2nd ed. Paducah, KY: Collector Books, c1995.

The Ward Irish Music Archives does accept donations of historic sheet music with Irish themes, Irish creators, or with connections to Irish history, personalities, and performers. Please contact us with details or questions.

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I'd like to copy and perform music from your site. Can I do this and do I need to pay royalties?

The sheet music included on this site dated before 1923 is to our knowledge is in the public domain, meaning that it may be copied and performed without paying royalties to the original author. However, persons wishing to perform, broadcast, or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. The music is intended for personal, research, or educational use only.

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Are there other websites with sheet music collections?

A good place to start is the Sheet Music Consortium site, which provides access to a number of sheet music collections. http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/sheetmusic/

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Contact Us

1532 N. Wauwatosa Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53213-2623
Phone: (414) 476-8999

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