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The Opera Collection
Western University, Western Libraries

Subjects
Operas; Operas--Vocal scores with piano; Operas--Libretti

History
Two major purchases which form the core of the collection, were made in 1971 and 1974 from Richard Macnutt, an antiquarian dealer based in England. Funds from the Office of the President of the University of Western Ontario and the Academic Development Fund made these purchases possible. Individual and collective purchases have since been made using library acquisition funds and grants.

Description
The collection is an outstanding collection of primary and contemporary sources related to the study of pre-1800 opera in North America. It includes pre-1800 opera scores and libretti, as well as nineteenth and twentieth century titles, instrumental works, and theoretical treatises. Most items are first editions of operas and libretti and several are in manuscript format. Printed editions predominate. The chronological emphasis is from 1600 to the early twentieth century. The geographic emphasis is on France, England, Italy, and Germany. Present acquisitions are selective.

Language
Not applicable.

Holdings
100-200 musical manuscripts; 1,800-1,900 volumes of contemporary printed scores and libretti.

Bibliographic Access
Most titles are catalogued for the library's on-line catalogue. There is also a separate printed catalogue covering a portion of the holdings (see below). Uncatalogued material is also accessible. LC subject headings are used. The material is arranged according to an in-house classification scheme based on accession numbers. The holdings are recorded in the National Library Union Catalogue.

Physical Access
The collection is housed in the Gustav Mahler-Alfred Rosť Rare Book Room of the Music Library, which is open to researchers. Tours are also available. Hours are: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For further information visit: http://www.lib.uwo.ca/music/specol.html.

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: Photocopying, microfilming, and photography services are provided by the staff.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
"Opera I: being the catalogue of the collection: opera 1600-1750 in contemporary editions and manuscripts now in the holdings of the Music Library of the University of Western Ontario". -- Studies in music from the University of Western Ontario. -- Vol. 4 (1979). -- London, Ont. : University of Western Ontario, 1979. A University of Western Ontario information sheet is also available.