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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Historic American Sheet Music: 1850-1920
Detail of Russian map of Alaska

[Detail] Charge of the light brigade march. 1896


Collection Overview

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 contains more than 3,000 pieces of American sheet music from Duke University. The variety of music in the collection provides a window into American history and culture. The collection is strong in antebellum Southern music and Confederate and Civil War songs. It also includes minstrel songs, patriotic and political songs, spirituals, dance music, marches, and songs from vaudeville, "Tin pan alley", and World War I. Sheet music cover illustrations convey the political, patriotic, racial and religious views held at the time the music was composed.

Special Features

There are currently no Special Features for this Collection.

Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
  • Development of the Industrial United States, 1876-1915
  • Emergence of Modern America, 1890-1930

Related Collections and Exhibits

These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Also browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.

Other Resources

Recommended additional sources of information.

Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection.

To find items in this collection, search by Keyword or browse by Author Index, Subject Index or date.

For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.