This index to the Music Special Collections has been compiled from several sources. Of primary importance was the short title catalog used to describe the contents of the personal library of Frederic Louis Ritter at its auction after his death in 1891. The Ritter Library included scores, books and periodicals about music, from the 16th century to the time of his death.
That collection was purchased by Albert Metcalf, a Trustee of Tufts College, who had supported the creation of the first professorship in music at the school. Metcalf donated the Ritter Library, along with items from his own collection, to the new Department of Music in 1902. Professor Leo Rich Lewis oversaw this collection and maintained a shelf list card file for the next 40 years, which has also been consulted in compiling this index.
The important modern resource incorporated into this index included data transcribed from the sources by graduate students of Professor Jane Bernstein in the 1980s, after the material had been transferred to Special Collections. Finally, comments and corrections have been provided from a consultant hired to assess the content of the collection in 2002, Mr. John Shepard, Head, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Music Division Special Collections, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.