The University of Texas at Austin possesses considerable resources relevant to the study and performance of American music.

Library Resources

Not only does the University of Texas have excellent holdings in the main library and Fine Arts Library, but the University also has unparalleled primary source materials at the Center for American History and Harry Ransom Center.

Briscoe Center for American History

Briscoe Center LogoEspecially strong in the history of Texas music, the music collection of the Brisoe Center for American History comprises sound recordings (phonodiscs, tapes, cassettes, and CDs), manuscript and printed sheet music, and visual materials such as photographs, videocassettes, and poster art. Genres represented include Texas western swing, Mexican-American music, black gospel, traditional folk styles such as German and Czech, concert music by German immigrant composers, and popular forms such as blues, rock, jazz, and ragtime. Significant holdings include field recordings made in the 1930s by musicologist John A. Lomax, unique private recordings of Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter, the Lipscomb-Alyn Collection containing tape recordings of Grimes County blues master Mance Lipscomb, the Townsend Miller Collection of 8,000 recordings of country music artists, and the James Nash Music Collection devoted to the Austin music scene since 1970. In 2005, the Briscoe Center established a formal project devoted Study of American Spirituals

The Harry Ransom Center

Performing Arts Collection

HRC LogoThe Musicians Collection within the Performing Arts Collection consists of approximately 5,200 items from the years 1727 to 1981, with the bulk of materials falling between 1900–1940. The Collection includes photographs of approximately 1700 musicians and musical groups.

Music, Opera, and Dance Collections

The Harry Ransom Center has several extensive collections of music, opera, and dance. The holdings include music manuscripts by Paul Bowles, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Nicolas Nabokov, and Virgil Thomson. The archive of Ross Russell, founder of Dial Records, contains photographs, papers, recordings, and interviews of notable jazz musicians from mid-century, including, for example, Charlie Parker’s recording contracts. In the Minstrel Show Collection are some 4,000 items relating to the production of blackface musical theater between 1821 and 1959.

Music for Cinema

The David O. Selznick Collection contains business and production records for Selznick International Pictures, which was responsible for such films as Star is Born (1937), Gone With the Wind (1939), Rebecca (1940), and Spellbound (1945). Besides music production records and correspondence, the collection contains scores and parts for the films. The Hoblitzelle Interstate theater Circuit Music Collection, which contains 27,000 pieces of cinema and vaudeville music dating from 1915-1940, is part of the The Hoblitzelle & Interstate Theater Collection.

Departments and Programs

The Center for American Music promotes the interdisciplinary study of music through active collaboration with other departments and programs at the University of Texas.

John L. Warfield Center for African and African American History
Briscoe Center for American History
Harry Ransom Center
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS)
Center for Asian American Studies
The Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies (APCCS)
Center for Mexican American Studies
The Center for Women’s & Gender Studies
College of Liberal Arts: Department of American Studies
College of Communication: Department of Radio–Television–Film
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs: Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship