A-Z Guide to Library Databases & Reference Sources

Off campus access to most of these databases is restricted to NEC college students, faculty and staff.

Academic OneFile: full-text articles from journals and reference sources, including coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, and literature.

Academic Video Online (AVON): the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries.  It delivers over 70,000 titles spanning the widest range of subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, healthy, history, music and more.

ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB): is a digital collection of over 5,400 seminal books in the humanities and related social sciences. These titles are presented in collaboration with more than 120 publishers and Michigan Publishing. Books in the HEB collection have been recommended and reviewed by scholars and constituent learned societies of the American Council of Learned Societies.” There are 212 music and musicology titles in the collection.

African Diaspora Music Project: Database of songs and orchestral works by composers of the African Diaspora.

Alan Lomax Collection: includes online access to thousands of songs and interviews recorded by Lomax, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, and renowned collector of folk music in the 20th Century.

BabelScores: Access the largest and constantly growing online  contemporary music library.

Bagaduce Music Lending Library: A non-profit library in Maine, holding printed music in all genres. Members may borrow single scores, multiple copies, and ensemble parts.

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: Offers comprehensive and authoritative information on musicians of all musical genres, from popular to classical.

Biography in Context: Quick reference information on over 900,000 people.

Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Website focused on Black Freedom, featuring approximately 1600 primary source documents selected from ProQuest databases related to critical people and events in African American history. 

Black Lives Matter: A freely available Black Lives Matter learning resource, featuring a rich collection of handpicked articles from the digital archives of over 50 different publications.  Free access limited to single articles.

BMS Online (Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums): German index to music literature published from 1950-1975 and 1986 to the present. Earlier coverage from 1936-1939 and 1976-1985 only available in print; these volumes can be found on the Reference Shelf (call number: Ref. ML113.B5 1987).

Boosey & Hawkes Online Scores: Full scores from the Boosey & Hawkes catalog available for viewing (not printing or downloading). Create your own account for free.

Boston Business Journal: Provides access to 40 business journals published throughout the U.S.

Boston Globe, 1980- : Access made possible by funding from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Chicago Manual of Style Online (17th edition): the venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage and grammar in an accessible online format. It is the indispensable reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers informing the editorial canon with sound, definitive advice.

Credo Reference: Major collection of encyclopedias and dictionaries which support research in the humanities and sciences.

Daniels' Orchestral Music Online: Index to information on more than 6,700 orchestral works, including instrumentation, duration and availability.

Dissertations and Theses (through Proquest): Full text for Humanities and Social Sciences Collection.

Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology: Database of completed and in-progress dissertations.

DRAM: Streaming audio collection of scholarly contemporary American music.

Ebook Central (Proquest): Collection of over one million electronic books, including thousands of music titles.

Elliott Carter Collection: An extensive collection of holograph scores and sketches during Carter's formative period: 1932-1971. Curated by the Library of Congress; read online only.

Folk Song Society of Greater Boston (FSSGB)

Grove/Oxford Music Online: Includes The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, The Grove Dictionary of American Music (in process), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (in process), in addition to the Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music. 

Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music

Harvard Dictionary of Music

IMSLP Petrucci Music Library: digitized collection of over 47,000 works in public domain. Primarily 19th century editions. Borrow from the library collection to get more recent and accurate scores.

Internet Archive: Includes digitized collection of over 4 million books in public domain.

IPA Source: Includes over 5000 International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcriptions and literal translations of opera arias and art song texts.

The Jazz Discography: Covers all categories of recorded jazz, from 1896 to today, including Traditional, Swing, Bop, Modern, Avant-Garde, Fusion, Third Stream etc.

JSTOR: Archival collection of 77 full text music journals.

LiederNet: A very useful archive of Art song and Lieder texts in approximately 20 languages. May be searched by composer, poet, titles, and first lines. Many, but not all, also have English translations. Created and maintained by Emily Ezust.

Medici.tv: The largest online collection of classical music, operas and ballets in the world. Discover live broadcasts from prestigious venues and archived concerts, artist portraits, documentaries, and education programs.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus

MLA Copyright Page: American copyright laws for music.

Music Index with Full Text: Includes more than 180 active full-text journals, cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for nearly 660 journals, selective coverage for more than 200 additional journals.

Music Online: Classical Scores Library is the largest and most authoritative resource of in-copyright scores to support teaching and research in classical music. This multi-volume series contains more than 53,000 titles and 1.3 million printable pages of the most important scores in classical music, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

Musical America Worldwide Directory of the Performing Arts

Musical Theater Songs: draws from 150 years of musical theater repertoire, ranging from well-known standards to rare finds to help you find the right songs quickly and easily. As an added feature, once you get your list of titles, we link you to various sites to make it simple to buy, rent, trade or download the sheet music and recordings. (Subject to availability).

National Jukebox: About 10,000 historical recordings offered by the Library of Congress, free of charge.

Naxos Jazz Collection

Naxos Music Library: Includes approximately 36,000 recordings in all genres which can be listened to on Macs, PCs, or mobile devices with Naxos app.

Naxos Music Library World: Offers a wide range of world music, from legendary historical musical performances to contemporary world music. Recordings of over 32,000 artists are represented.

Naxos Video Library: Over 1400 full-length videos featuring opera, ballet and theater.

New York Times, 1985- : Access made possible by funding from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Online Resources for Music Scholars: Comprehensive list of digital score sources.

OperaVision (formerly the Opera Platform): Free online access to first class European opera productions.

Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford Handbooks Online: Music subject area only.

Percussion Orchestrations: Over 7700 works from the orchestral, operatic and contemporary repertoire. Access only available ON CAMPUS.

Proquest Dissertations & Theses Full Text: Humanities and Social Sciences Collection

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text (RAFT) expands and enhances the unrivaled global bibliography of writings on music with full-text content from 240 key periodicals from 50 countries with articles in many different languages. Coverage includes articles, reviews, obituaries, editorials, correspondence, advertisements and news, published from the early 20th century to the present.

RIPM (with Full Text): Retrospective index to music periodicals, 1800-1950; includes links to full-text journals in the RIPM Online Archive.

RIPM Jazz Periodicals: A partnership with the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, RIPM JAZZ currently includes 105 full-text, American jazz journals, spanning from 1914-2006. All journal issues are out-of-print and rarely accessible.

RISM: International inventory of music manuscripts after 1600.

Rock's Back Pages: Includes live interviews and several thousand articles on rock artists written during the last 50 years.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam: Video platform of RCO concerts.

The Spirituals Database: this resource offers searchable access to recorded track information for over 2,000 Negro Spiritual settings performed by solo Classical vocalists.


WorldCat: World's largest network of library content and services.

Websites of Interest to Musicologists: Contains links regarding job listings, dissertations, ethnomusicology, funding agencies, etc. Collected by the American Musicological Society.