In October 2004, the Indiana University Digital Library Program received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana, a three-year project to catalog and digitize sheet music from the collections of four partner institutions, Indiana University's Lilly Library, the Indiana State Museum, the Indiana Historical Society, and the Indiana State Library. The purpose of the project is to create an online sheet music collection that will demonstrate how museums and libraries with complementary materials can work cooperatively to create shared digital resources.
By concentrating initially on the collections of American sheet music owned by each of the partners, the project will accomplish two highly adaptable goals:
Each institution contributes unique, interesting and invaluable pieces of sheet music to IN Harmony. Listed below are collection highlights from each of the partnering institutions:
Indiana University's Lilly Library contains sheet music in several named collections. The Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music includes approximately 24,000 pieces of sheet music, songbooks, and folios. The Starr Sheet Music Collection contains more than 100,000 pieces of sheet music. All of the sheet music in the DeVincent collection can be searched in the IN Harmony portal. Work on adding entries for the Starr Sheet Music Collection is ongoing. For further information about these collections and other sheet music, visit the Lilly Library.
Indiana Division owns a collection of approximately 1,600 pieces of sheet music with an Indiana connection. These pieces date from 1840 (a campaign song for William Henry Harrison) through the 1960s, with the bulk of the music dating from 1890 through 1950. The collection includes a wide variety of pieces: "booster" songs promoting a particular city or railroad stop, centennial songs from state-wide, county, and city celebrations, religious works, college songs, and songs based on the literary works of well-known Indiana authors such as James Whitcomb Riley.
The Indiana State Museum owns about 1,800 pieces of Indiana-related sheet pieces from the Sam DeVincent collection and other sources. The collections include many of the published works of the Von Tilzer brothers, who were born in Indianapolis. Their popular songs include standards such as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "I Want a Girl," "Apple Blossom Time," and "Put Your Arms Around Me." The museum also holds a very good selection of Indiana Ragtime, 1910-1925, and representative collections of composers Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter.
Indiana Historical Society sheet music collection includes over 2,000 items with Indiana connections gathered from a number of other collections, with about 950 items related to Indiana by composers including Irving Berlin, Paul Dresser, Al Jolson, Jerome Kern, Fritz Krull, John A. McGee, Cole Porter, and Albert and Harry Von Tilzer. The Historical Society recently acquired the Jane B. Anderson Sheet Music Collection, with approximately 12,000 items, dating from 1854-1980, in subjects beyond Indiana ranging from semi-classical to vaudeville.