First-Year Intro Part 4: Special Collections

The Princeton University Library, and by extension Mendel, has numerous special collections. These span from digitized manuscripts and historic scores to documents from people affiliated with Princeton’s music department. This final blog post in our introductory series will be a very brief look into some of the many holdings at PUL and Mendel.

A notable holding in Special Collections is the Hall Handel Collection, which consists of almost all the manuscripts or early editions of works by George Frideric Handel as collected by James S. Hall and expanded upon by the University. You can check out what’s in the Hall Collection at

A more recent addition to PUL’s special collections for music is the Fred D. Valva Collection of Silent Film and Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Music. The Valva Collection contains the music library of Fred D. Valva, a violinist who also conducted orchestras for silent films and vaudeville theatre. The orchestral parts that make up the collection are currently being digitized for worldwide viewing, and the completed items can be viewed on the Digital PUL site at

Digital PUL is also a treasure trove of other interesting holdings from across the PUL branches. All of the DPUL collections for music can be found at This contains archives of past performances by Princeton ensembles as mentioned in our previous blog post among other recordings and manuscripts.

First-Year Intro Part 3: Online Resources

Through Mendel, the Princeton University Library offers several online databases and resources related to the performing arts that can be used for both learning and leisure. Some of our most popular online resources are highlighted in the sidebar of our home page at They are indicated with an orange box in this image:

These resources include Oxford Music Online (music dictionary), Naxos Music Library (music streaming), Met Opera on Demand (live and archived performances from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City), and Digital Concert Hall (live and archived performances from the Berlin Philharmonic).

We’re preparing some posts for this blog that focus on specific online resources, so stay tuned! Once those are posted, we’ll update this post with direct links to those posts.

Accessing Resources

Accessing these databases is as easy as clicking on the link in our sidebar and logging in with your Princeton credentials via CAS. Your Princeton log-in offers you on-demand, unlimited access to these resources, so you can do things like watch performances by the Metropolitan Opera or the Berlin Philharmonic from the comfort of your dorm room or anywhere with Internet access.

Resources for Research

If you’re doing research related to music and the performing arts, our Mendel Music Librarian, Darwin Scott, has prepared resource guides for music, dance, and theater. Links to those guides are also located in the right sidebar, but farther down the page. Many of these guides contain strategies for searching for sources, including tips on using the catalog as well as relevant Library of Congress subject headings (read our previous post for a little more on the Library of Congress classification system in use by PUL and Mendel).

Performance @ Princeton

Another fascinating online resource offered through Mendel is our Performance @ Princeton archive. Through that archive, you can access recordings of performances by Princeton ensembles, including the Princeton University Orchestra, the Glee Club, and other Music Department ensembles. The online PUO performance archives date all the way back to 1990 and the Glee Club has performances from 1986.

The Catalog

Last, but certainly not least, in this post is the PUL catalog. The catalog is an immensely powerful tool for exploring both electronic and print resources because its search function is integrated into so many of PUL’s resources. A single search will bring up results that are print books that can be checked out from a PUL branch, scanned versions of materials in PUL’s physical collections, and materials available solely online through the likes of special collections and various databases. Plus, the results can be filtered based on access (in the Library or Online), home library branch, and format (book, audio, video, musical score, database, etc.).

For materials housed in a PUL branch, the catalog can show you where to find it if you are less familiar with the Library of Congress call numbers or Mendel’s layout:

Clicking on “Where to find it” brings up this diagram with an approximate location:

Closing Remarks

With the immense diversity of online resources, it would be impossible to cover all of them in our blog posts, so we encourage you to let your curiosity guide you as you explore PUL’s online resources. As with print and physical materials, the Mendel staff are happy to help. You can visit us in the Woolworth Center or email us at to ask us any questions.

First-Year Intro Part 2: In-person Resources

Within our location in the Woolworth Center, Mendel has numerous physical resources that students, faculty, and staff can use. We have the expected books, scores, and periodicals in addition to technology such as print release stations, scanners, computer workstations, and audiovisual equipment.


As we mentioned in our first post, Mendel houses the Princeton University Library’s performing arts collections (the areas of music, theater, dance, and musical theater). This includes musical scores, books on music literature and dance, CDs and DVDs, current periodicals on the performing arts, and back issues of music periodicals.

Circulating Scores

Mendel’s circulating score collection is on the second floor. Most of the collection is “quarto” sized (indicated by a “q” at the end of the call number) and located centrally on the second floor. Study scores make up the first few rows of stacks, and large — “folio” or “elephant” — scores are in the back corner and have an “f” or “e” in their call number. These scores include repertoire from pre-Baroque times up through very recently composed works, some of which are even by Princeton faculty members. Circulating scores have the location code “(MUS)” and have call numbers beginning with “M”.

Music Literature

The music literature collection is also located on the second floor, in the high density shelving. To optimize our shelf space, oversized books are shelved separately after the other music literature items. Music literature items have the location code “(MUS)” and call numbers beginning with “ML”.

Pedagogical Texts

Pedagogical texts are in the second floor high density shelving after the music literature collection, have location code “(MUS)”, and have call numbers beginning with “MT”. Oversized items are also shelved separately. 

Reference Materials

Reference materials do not circulate (you may only use them in the library) and are located on the first floor. Standard reference materials are differentiated from the circulating collection by the location code “(SV)”. Some reference materials are facsimiles and are further differentiated by the location code “(SVF)”. A small number of items are held behind the circulation desk and are considered “locked”, which is indicated by “(SVL)”. These locked items may only be handled with the permission of the full-time library staff. The final subset of reference materials have the location code “(SVR)” and are the only reference materials on the second floor. Items with this location code include dictionaries and other guides. They are held in the second floor reading room.


Current issues of periodicals are held in the second floor reading room. Back issues for music periodicals are typically rebound and moved to the bound periodicals section on the first floor, indicated by the location code “(MUSPE)”. Other non-music periodicals are usually moved to Firestone once bound.

Audio-visual Materials

Audio-visual materials, including CDs and DVDs, are kept behind the circulation desk and can be retrieved upon request, but they may only be used inside the library; Mendel has media players that will be discussed in the next section. 

Off-site Loans

Some of the most valuable offerings of the Princeton University Library are the various off-site materials that are available to patrons.

One of these programs is Borrow Direct, which allows PUL patrons to borrow materials from twelve partner university libraries: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Yale. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) works similarly. Both have online request systems on the PUL website.

PUL also has a partnership with the Columbia University Libraries, Harvard University Library, and the New York Public Library through the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP). ReCAP serves as off-site, high density storage for materials with more than 16 million holdings and is located on Princeton’s Forrestal Campus. PUL patrons may request any item held at ReCAP regardless of its owning library. Deliveries from ReCAP occur twice a day.


In addition to “traditional” library materials Mendel Music Library has printers, a photocopier, scanning equipment, computer workstations, and audiovisual equipment.

The printers are connected to PawPrint, the University’s cloud printing system, which allows you to print documents and retrieve them at any PawPrint printer. The library computers are already set up to print to the PawPrint network, but you will need to set up your personal computer using the steps at After printing to “PawPrint Printers”, which should show up in the list of printer options on your computer, you can go to any PawPrint printer on campus and log in, usually by scanning your TigerCard, and “release” the print job. Each student has a free printing quota of several thousand pages each academic year. Printers are located on the first two floors of the library.

Mendel’s photocopier requires a pre-paid copy card or your TigerCard (which will be charged using Paw Points) to make copies. As an alternative to paying for photocopying, free scanning equipment is also available (see below). The Mendel photocopier is located on the first floor.

Both a standard document scanner and a specialized scanner for books are available on the second floor of Mendel and are free to use. Documents scanned on these scanners can be saved to a USB thumb drive or as email attachments.

Mendel’s other technology and equipment includes external disk drives and headphones that can be borrowed for in-library use. Information and FAQs are available on Mendel’s website at


So, how does circulation work at Mendel? If you’re an undergraduate student, most items circulate for eight weeks, but there are some exceptions to this policy — including reference materials, CDs, and DVDs —  that you can see at

Once your loan period is up, you can renew your loan online at by going to Library Services > My Accounts and logging in with your Princeton NetID and password via CAS. You may also visit, call, or email us for help with renewals.

Holds can also be placed online through the library catalog at or by speaking with a library staff member. 


Reserves are actually both in the library and online, but they’ll be a pretty important part of your Princeton experience so we’ll discuss them now. Reserves are materials that your professor or instructor has set aside as important or relevant to the course. They often include supplemental texts and audiovisual materials related to the course. Physical course reserves for undergraduates are held behind the circulation desk and may be used for three hours at a time by request during which the item will be charged to your account. Reserves may not leave the library. Online reserves are available through the link in the sidebar of the course’s Canvas site. They virtually circulate for three hours using CAS.


Part of Mendel’s mission is to support the research of faculty and students in the Department of Music and the Programs in Dance, Theater, and Musical Theater. Darwin Scott, the Mendel Music Librarian, has put together resource guides which are available in the right sidebar of Mendel’s website at These are a great first stop for any research inquiries and introduce the numerous resources available through Mendel. The library staff is also available to help you with your research inquiries, both via email and in-person at the library.

Library Maps

Stack map of Mendel's first floor
The stack map for the first floor of Mendel
Stack map of Mendel's second floor
The stack map for the second floor of Mendel

First-Year Intro Part 1: Welcome to Mendel!

Hello from the Mendel Music Library! We are Princeton’s library for the performing arts, supporting teaching and learning in the Department of Music and the Programs in Dance, Theater, and Musical Theater.

What Mendel Has to Offer

The Woolworth Center at Princeton, home to the Department of Music and Mendel.

Located within the Woolworth Center for Musical Studies at the heart of campus, our physical location contains Princeton’s collection of musical scores, literature on music and dance, and periodicals for music, dance, and theater. We also have study space in the second floor periodicals reading room as well as computing stations, print release stations, and other media services, including disk drives, a turntable, and book-scanning technology. Our second blog post will introduce our in-person resources in greater detail.

Also held and offered through the library are course reserves materials for courses offered through Mendel’s partner academic units. These are print and digital materials relevant to a course set aside by the instructor through the library. Physical reserves are held behind Mendel’s circulation desk and can be used upon request while electronic reserves are typically accessible via Canvas, Princeton’s learning management system. Reserves will also be discussed further in our second post.

Mendel’s collections are not limited to our location in Woolworth. We have a large collection of online resources that can be accessed anywhere with a Princeton NetID and password. These resources include virtual concerts, music recording libraries, and digital periodicals. Digital resources will be highlighted in our third blog post.

Mendel’s Staff

Mendel’s staff is happy to assist you with general reference questions, library technology, or research-related inquiries. We are available in the library during operating hours and via phone at (609) 258-3032. We are also contactable at Here is a little bit about each of the full time staff members at Mendel:

Darwin Scott, Mendel Music Librarian

Darwin is Princeton’s Mendel Music Librarian and has served in that position since April 1, 2009. Previously he was at Brandeis University, where he served as Creative Arts Librarian and then as Assistant Director for Research and Instruction Services, Creative Arts and Humanities. While at Brandeis, Darwin established and developed a collection of early music imprints dating from 1501-1650 (the Gorham Collection), which had grown to over fifty publications by the time he came to Princeton. Darwin has also worked at the UCLA music library, including a stint as head of technical services there. At UCLA, Darwin earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in historical musicology, specializing in medieval music and writing a dissertation on the early motets of the Notre Dame Era. During most of his years at UCLA, Darwin was an active performer, playing oboe in the orchestra and numerous chamber ensembles, and later branching out into early music, playing recorders and crumhorn. Darwin completed an MLS from the UCLA School of Library and Information Science, focusing on reference, cataloging/authority control, and, in particular, Renaissance music publication. While at UCLA, Darwin had two stints of teaching at California State University, Northridge, directing the collegium musicum there returning to teach graduate courses in music research and bibliography, and Renaissance music. Darwin also holds a BM from California State University, Long Beach, where he focused on music performance and musicology.

At Princeton, Darwin also participates in a number of library- and campus-wide initiatives and working groups, including the Library Managers Group, the Princeton Digital Humanities Working Group, the LibGuides Management Group, and board of directors members for the Blue Mountain Project. ​​Darwin is the Princeton representative to the Borrow Direct Music Librarians Group, which is presently focused on the Contemporary Composers Web Archive and an ongoing cooperative project of comprehensively collecting published music by a select group of around 2,000 contemporary composers, particularly those active between 1975 and 2014. Darwin is also currently busy overseeing Princeton’s first contributions to the Music Treasures Consortium and the Sheet Music Consortium.

Dan Gallagher, Reserves & Media Services

Dan oversees print and electronic reserves. He continues to work on the Music Department Audio Archive, a cataloging and streaming project that will give access to over 30 to 40 years of Music Department ensemble performances, including undergraduate, graduate, and faculty recitals, online. He holds a BA in Music Education and studied voice and choral music. He works for both Mendel and Westminster Choir College Talbott Library.

Sara Hagenbuch, Coordinator for Public Services and Outreach

Sara is in charge of the circulation desk, study carrel program, outreach and events, and she works to keep the library running smoothly. She’s also available to answer reference questions and is always happy to help! She previously worked at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and UC Berkeley Libraries, and is a professional classical singer who loves Baroque music. Sara is usually at Mendel during the mornings and early afternoons–please feel comfortable emailing her with questions or saying hello in person! 

Brittany Jones, Coordinator for Special Projects and Collection Management

Brittany is in charge of the stacks and making sure everything is neat and easy to find. She works quite a bit behind the scenes of the library, but is available to answer any reference questions or to help in any way. Please feel free to say hello or ask her any questions. Brittany is currently working on all Mendel digital projects. Brittany worked on Wagner’s operas and staging during WWII during graduate school and still enjoys researching how propaganda affected musicians and the music culture of Germany during WWII. In addition to her Masters in Music History, Brittany also received her Masters in Library and Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.