HISTORY: For many years in the nineteenth century, the Mercantile Library promoted concerts and other musical performances in its auditorium, and the earliest collections of music stem from the need for reference copies for such performances. The collection gradually grew and was bound into indexed volumes of songs and other scores. The collection continues to grow to this day through donation.

SCOPE: The collection dates from the 1840s through ca.1875, and includes numerous local pieces, as well as many St. Louis and regional imprints. Many pieces include color engravings and color lithographs for covers that depict various aspects of the American scene and life in the nineteenth century.

HOLDINGS: Approximately 1000 pieces.

ACCESS: Special Collection M-121 is boxed and partially catalogued. Selected inventories exist on site. Portions of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed depending on condition.