Special Collections / Music Collections

Raya Garbousova Papers

This collection consists of cello music previously owned by Raya Garbousova, including unpublished works. The collection of cello music contains performance pieces along with some exercises. Works for solo cello and cello with piano accompaniment are well represented, many of which have Garbousova's annotations and cello bowings. Also present in the collection is a small amount of ephemera related to the Cello Congress.

Lee Schreiner Sheet Music Collection

Lee Schreiner donated a large portion of his sheet music collection--several thousand pieces--to Rare Books and Special Collections in 2014. The collection contains pieces from the late-19th century through the mid-20th century. Holdings of pieces from the early 20th century, particularly during World War I (1914-1918), are well represented. Because most Americans either had access to pianos or watched performers at music halls, sheet music is an ideal medium for studying popular and visual culture. Pieces in the collection reflect popular opinion about the war, as well as the changing status of women and minorities.

Frank Skinner Collection

The Frank Skinner Collection was donated to the NIU Libraries in 1989 and consists of musical scores from motion pictures. With one exception, they are all original pencil manuscripts in Skinner's hand--Magnificent Obsession is an ozalid copy of a studio copyist's manuscript. Except My Man Godfrey and Written on the Wind, which are fragments, the scores are believed to be complete representations of all the music Skinner wrote for films. Each of the scores was written for a conventional symphony orchestra. Following the usual procedure in the Hollywood film industry, Skinner notated his music in the form of a three-stave pencil sketch which gave all details of melody and harmony and most details of orchestration. This sketch was then turned over to a studio orchestrator who would prepare a full score based on this sketch. Copyists would then prepare individual orchestral parts from the orchestrator's score; a "conductor part" (usually a clean copy of the composer's original sketch) was also prepared. The identity of Skinner's orchestrators for these five scores is unknown; it is possible, though unlikely, that he orchestrated the scores himself.