The New England Conservatory Archives, under the auspices of the Conservatory libraries, was formally established in 2002 with the assistance of a generous grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. The Archives serves as the official repository for information and records generated by, for, and about New England Conservatory (NEC). The Archives seeks to document the history, activities, and contributions of the Conservatory since its founding in 1867 as the oldest continually operating independent music school in the United States.
The Archives retains materials from all areas of the Conservatory including those of administrative and academic departments, faculty, and students of the college division and the preparatory and continuing education division, as well as related community outreach programs. The Conservatory Archives also seeks to document the considerable contributions of NEC to the musical life of Boston and beyond, as well as the highly successful careers that many Conservatory alumni have achieved in their respective fields. Finally, the Archives oversees an institutional records management program to assist departments in formulating appropriate records retention and disposition schedules that are in compliance with state and federal requirements and other regulations.
New England Conservatory Special Collections include music manuscripts and first editions from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, in particular, the works of the Boston area composers active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also included are audio-visual materials from the Voice of Firestone Hour (radio and TV programs) and two Vaughan Monroe programs, the Vaughan Monroe Hour (TV program) and the Camel Caravan (radio program). Bibliographic access to the majority of materials in special collections is available through the library catalog.