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Theodore M. Finney Music Library Collection

What’s online?

Rare and manuscript music materials, including early printed music scores and music manuscripts, autograph letters, and glass plate photographs.

The digital collection includes first-editions of music scores (J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Meyerbeer, Brahms, Dvorak and others), items from our RISM collection (mainly 17th- and 18th-century European printed editions), and manuscripts of music by Pittsburgh composers (Theodore M. Finney and William Oetting), the “Haydn” manuscript, letters of Clara Schumann, Eduard Hanslick and Stephen Heller (19th-century musicians/composers), and glass plate negatives of Metropolitan Opera singers taken by photographer Herman Mishkin (1870–1948) in the early 1900s.

What’s in the entire collection?

The Theodore M. Finney Music Library contains a music research collection to support the Ph.D. programs in musicology, ethnomusicology, composition/theory, and jazz studies, as well as several collections of important musical materials. Collections include early American hymnals and tunebooks, volumes of sheet music with regional significance, and music belonging to the conductor William Steinberg. Among its archival holdings are the Nek Mirskey Collection (performance parts for silent films and salon orchestra music), the Polish Singers Alliance of America Collection (choral and instrumental music used by Polish singing societies), the Johnny Masters Collection (printed and manuscript music, and song sheets used by Johnny Masters and His Orchestra between 1949 and 1956. The library holds an impressive collection of facsimiles of composer’s manuscripts and medieval manuscripts.

About Theodore M. Finney

Theodore M. (Mitchell) Finney was born on March 14, 1902 in Fayette, Iowa and died in Pittsburgh on May 19, 1978. He studied at the University of Minnesota, where he received his BA in 1924, in Berlin at the Stern Conservatory and the University (1927–28), and at the University of Pittsburgh (LittM 1938). After serving on the music staff of Carleton College in Minnesota, he was appointed professor and chair of the Music Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1936. Among his many accomplishments at the university, he founded the Heinz Chapel Choir in 1938. Finney was the first to envision a music research library for the University of Pittsburgh and built the core collection through various means, including donation of his own collection. He retired in 1968 and became curator of the Warrington Collection of Hymnology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His career covered a wide range of musical interests: performance, scholarship, music education, and librarianship.



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