Information for Teachers on using the Library of Congress Materials

Using the Library of Congress Materials


Resources for Teachers

Below are ways for music teachers to search the Library of Congress. Each search yields different information. Please note that the archives contain all of history, which means that while there are some amazing resources available, the library does not omit sources that may be deemed offensive, in the interest of preserving history.

In particular, should you find yourself teaching remotely, these resources will be truly valuable. Sharing a score of a first draft by a famous composer with students always yields interesting reactions as students realize that even famous composers edited their manuscripts and crossed out material. Enjoy discovering The Library of Congress. Start Here:

Analyzing a Primary Source video on how to observe, reflect and question when analyzing a primary source. This protocol should be used to help you teach students about primary sources at The Library of Congress. What questions do you have from your observations and reflections? Your questions can lead you on to additional research.

Audio recordings  Most of these recordings will not be in the public domain until January 2022

Blogs about music from the Library of Congress

Chronicling America, Newspaper archives from 1777-1963 (1963 as of July 2021. The archives are expanding!) Also, check out Topics in Chronicling America (newspaper articles in collections by topic)

Citation  Rather than citing a primary source, use links. This article explains how to cite various digital sources.

Copyright  A good video discussing copyright.

More Copyright Information

National Jukebox

Notated music 

Performing Arts collections Collections are wonderful because someone else has already collected related primary sources for use.

Photos and Prints of Composers

Video on analyzing photos and prints 

The Library of Congress Teacher Guides

The Library of Congress YouTube Channel

3 Different ways to do an initial search at the Library of Congress:

  1. Type into Google the word you want to search plus:
  2. Do a search at Filter your search by type of source and filter your search by online format, original format, date, location, subject etc.
  3. Search: (a search of American newspapers from 1777-1963 as of July 2021. The archives are expanding!)

The Virtual Ensemble Project is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Eastern Region Program, Coordinated by Waynesburg University