Skip to Main Content

Primary Sources for Music

A Guide to Student Research at Rose

A Guide to Research in Rose for Students

The Rose reference room is located in room 784 of the Woodruff Library. The Rose reading room is available currently by appointment only. During the academic year, the hours are 9:00–5:00 Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday. For more information on using the reading room, please visit or email

The materials in Rose are rare, often fragile, and often very valuable. Therefore, when you come to do research, you will be asked to show proof of your identity, to keep a record of what you use, and you will have guidelines for how to use the materials during your visit. It may seem like there are a lot of rules associated with Rose materials, but remember that we want you to use the materials and we are glad that you are doing so. The rules are in place to protect our materials and to make sure they are preserved for many future generations of students and researchers to explore. If you have any questions about a policy, please feel free to ask us for more information.

Please review this FAQ about researching at Rose Library before your visit:

Need Help With Your Assignment?

Rose offers research consultations to student researchers. These consultations are scheduled for at least 30 minutes, done in person with an archivist, and cover finding sources in Rose and topic development, among other things. To schedule a research consultation, please contact Gabrielle M. Dudley, Instruction Archivist and QEP Librarian at

Selected Music-Related Collections in Rose

Rose Library has a number of music related materials within its holdings, particularly as it relates to African American history and culture. To help in your research, I have included a list of collections that may be of interest to you. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to introduce you to good candidates to help you begin your research. Please not that these collection vary in topic and size.

  • Black Fire Music Records (MSS 1160) -Records of Black Fire Music, an African American record publishing company, including album covers, photographs, and printed material.

  • African American Sheet Music Collection (MSS 1028)- Collection of sheet music related to African American history and culture. The majority of items in the collection were performed, composed, or published by African Americans.

  • William Levi Dawson papers (MSS 892)- Papers of William Levi Dawson, African American composer, conductor, and educator from Anniston, Alabama, including correspondence, original scores of Dawson's works, personal and family papers, photographs, audio visual materials, and printed material.

  • Geneva H. Southall papers (MSS 1004)- Papers of African American musician, educator, activist and author Geneva H. Southall, including personal papers, research and writing files, writings by others, musician files relating to African American composers, photographs and scrapbooks, printed material, and audiovisual material.

  • Undine Smith Moore papers (MSS 1155) - Papers of African American composer Undine Smith Moore including correspondence, manuscript scores of her compositions, subject files, sound recordings, writings, photographs, sheet music, and other printed material.

  • Emory University Glee Club records (Series No. 8) - The collection contains the records of the Emory University Glee Club and includes correspondence, performance programs, subject files, clippings, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials.

  • William W. Lemonds papers (Series No. 218)- The collection includes a photograph album kept by William W. Lemonds, professor of music and director of the Glee Club, Women’s Chorale, and other musical organizations at Emory University, containing candid photographs pf Glee Club and Chorale members and various musical performances. There are also enclosures which include additional loose photographs and photocopies of obituary clippings.

  • Victoria Spivey papers (MSS 809) - Papers of Victoria Spivey, African American blues artist, motion picture actress, and owner of Spivey Records.

  • Lucille Hegamin papers (MSS 1134) - Papers of African American blues singer Lucille Hegamin, including correspondence, photographs, printed material, manuscript music scores, and financial material.

  • Curtis E. Reed papers (MSS 951) -Papers of African American performer Curtis E. Reed, including contracts, promotional material, photographs, correspondence, lyrics, and scores.

  • John Samuels papers (MSS 952)- Papers of John Samuels, an African American musician from Atlanta, Georgia including sheet music, handwritten scores, programs from Atlanta churches, and photographs.

  • Johnny Hudgins papers (MSS 1029) -Papers of African American performer Johnny Hudgins, including photographs, sheet music, a scrapbook, printed material, and correspondence.

  • Duke of Paduch collection (MSS 687)- Collection of materials relating to musician and actor Benjamin Francis Ford (Duke of Puducah) including radio scripts, photographs, and printed material.

  • Ellis B. Kohs papers (MSS 877)- Papers of composer and teacher, Ellis B. Kohs, relating mainly to his activities as director of the all-African American 334th Army Forces Services Band at Fort Benning (Georgia) during World War II.

  • H. T. Burleigh papers (MSS 1195) -Collection of materials relating to African American composer H.T. Burleigh, including scores, sheet music and some personal papers. Note: Additional Burleigh sheet music can be found in the William Levi Dawson papers and the African American sheet music collection.

>> Visit Rose's website

Pitts Theology Library

The English and American Hymnody and Psalmody Collection of the Pitts Theology Library includes more than 16,000 print and microfilm items that range in date from the 16th through the 20th century. The Kessler Reformation Collection includes several early Lutheran hymnals, two of which are the only extant copies, and many other books and pamphlets with musical material.