A Beginner’s Guide to Mendel Online

It’s a fact that Princeton students are busy, and that the campus’ physical area is reasonably large. As a result, you may not always make it to Mendel in person and explore our plethora of resources, from music scores to CDs to literature on your favorite artists.

If this sounds like you, but you’re now wondering how you can still take advantage of the Princeton musical web, look no further than this blog post. Below is a list of some online musical resources to get you started from the comforts of your very own dorm room. All you’ll need is a Princeton User ID and you’ll be all set!


BabelScores is a wonderful resource for musicians interested in exploring the world of contemporary music. The library is constantly growing in its vast library of scores from the last 40 years. You’re able to subscribe to an online library where you can read for free, or rent or buy scores directly through their website. If you’re interested in browsing contemporary music in the last couple of decades, BabelScores is the place to be!

Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall

This Digital Concert Hall is a rare opportunity for you to experience concerts live in action. This incredible resource allows you to tune into live streams of concerts happening in real time of the Berliner Philmaroniker. If you can’t make a concert, that’s also not a problem – this website also has a large archive of past concerts, from the ones that have played in the past few weeks to performances dating back to 1966. Check out the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall if you’re interested in listening to and watching professional musicianship take place!

Digital Theatre + 

Digital Theatre + is a more recent addition to our resources, but a valuable one nonetheless. Founded in 2009, DT+ is an educational resource that collaborates with theatre companies all over the world to capture live performances in HD, bring insights from behind the scenes, and much more. They believe that “the arts are for everyone, not just the few,” and commit to this mission by creating content that can be used and accessed by everyone. 

Database of Recorded American Music

DRAM is a not-for-profit resource that contains everything you need to know about American music. The catalog is extremely diverse, with genres from folk to opera to classical to rock to everything in between. With essays, notes, and audio streaming of the highest quality, DRAM is your one-stop-shop for contemporary American sound. 


Medici.tv is another excellent resource to watch events, live and recorded, from wherever you can manage to find a computer! Medici.tv is not restricted to music, and also contains performances like ballets, workshops, and documentaries. If you’re not quite sure what you’re feeling like watching but you know you want to experience some form of art, Medici.tv is a great place to start your search. 

Met Opera on Demand

The name explains it all! If you’ve always wanted to go to the Met Opera, but haven’t been able to find the time to take NJ transit all the way to New York, Mendel has got you covered. This resource is updated quite regularly, so if there’s an opera that you wanted to see but never got around to, take a peek here! 

Alexander Street

Alexander Street is a giant of a resource that has literally millions of tracks to choose from. Primarily an audio streaming service, the resource is divided into several sub-categories because there is simply too much music available to be grouped into a general one. Search what you’re feeling and it’s more likely than not that Alexander Street will have you covered. 

Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library boasts the world’s largest online classical music library, streaming more than 120,000 CDs. Naxos also has Jazz and World music sections, with music from a wide range of record labels, genres, and artists. 


Launched in 2010, OntheBoards.tv delivers high quality contemporary performance to your desktop. They are one of the first organizations to begin filming contemporary works. You’re bound to find a performance to your liking in the 41+ performance films and 42+ artists from all around the world. 

There’s so much more in the online musical database of Mendel and Princeton University that is exciting, but this is a good start if you have no idea where to begin. If you’re interested in exploring more, check out the databases page under the Princeton University Library. Happy listening!

Current Theater journals now available at Mendel

25 theater journal titles have been moved from Firestone over to Mendel’s reading room. Mendel’s reading room has lots of comfortable places to study, a fantastic view, and public carrels. It’s the perfect place to stop in and read! The following Theater journals are now in Mendel and the titles link to the Princeton University Libraries’ catalog.

American theatre

L’Avant-scene. Theatre

Back stage

Biblioteca teatrale

Bulletin of the Comediantes

Comedia performance: journal of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater


Latin American theatre review

Maske und Kothurn

Modern drama

New theatre quarterly: NTQ

PAJ : a journal of performance and art


Primer acto

Sovremennai︠a︡ dramaturgii︠a︡



Theater heute

Theatre journal

Theatre notebook

Theatre record

Theatre research international

Theatre survey

Theatre topics



First edition of Jules Massenet’s “Esclarmonde”

Did you know that the Mendel Music Library owns stunning, historical scores in our Locked Reference (SVL) collection? These items are held behind the circulation desk and can only be viewed by request—the hidden gems of Mendel’s collection. One such example is the recently acquired, pristine copy of the lavishly illustrated first edition of the vocal score for EsclarmondeJules Massenet’s four-act opéra romanesque. It features ornate chromolithographic illustrations by Eugène Grasset, a pioneer of the Art Nouveau period.

The score was published in 1889 by Georges Hartmann soon after the opera’s premier on 14 May 1889 at the Paris Opéra-Comique (Théâtre Lyrique). Set in the legendary Middle Ages, the opera features a libretto by Alfred Blau and Louis de Gramont after Parthenopoeus de Blois, a medieval chanson de geste, and focuses around the emperor of Byzantium (Phorcas), who abdicates in favor of his daughter Esclarmonde, bequeathing her his magic powers that she uses to seduce the knight Roland de Blois (in a story filled with magic, an enchanted island, visions, veils, a siege, betrayal, exorcism, renunciation, and a concluding triumphal tournament). The part of the heroine was written for the California soprano Sibyl Sanderson (1865–1903), with whom Massenet was infatuated, and it is no accident that the music for her exudes passionate eroticism marked by intense chromatic inflection. Grasset not only created seven projected scenes (by magic lantern} for the opera’s staging but also collaborated with the publisher to produce elaborately illustrated front and back matter for the vocal score (covers, frontispiece, title and auxiliary pages, and borders around the cast lists and other preliminary texts) plus an exquisitely-wrought poster to advertise the score that features the unveiled heroine in a pose remarkably similar to the equally spectacular representation of Esclarmonde by lithographer Georges Clairin appearing on the score’s dust jacket. Mendel’s copy is noteworthy not only because it is a rarer first issue of the first edition that lacks a title-page dedication to Sanderson (found in the much more commonly held second issue) but also because the volume preserves all of the edition’s art work (including the bound-in dust jacket), which is often partially lacking in extant copies.

View in Catalog

Dust jacket (bound in) for the vocal score with lithograph of Esclarmonde by George Clairin

Dust jacket (bound in) for the vocal score with lithograph of Esclarmonde by George Clairin

Frontispiece (half-title) by Grasset

Frontispiece (half-title) by Grasset

Title page (Grasset)

Title page (Grasset)

End of contents (with Grasset’s decoration)

Vignette from back cover

Vignette from back cover