The Howard W. Wildin American Popular Sheet Music Collection, totaling more than 20,000 pieces, dates from 1835-1980, reflecting the unique attitudes, tastes, and biases of bygone eras. In addition to their value as historical artifacts, many titles have covers that are considered works of art.
The collection will be studied and used for classroom purposes as well as by individual scholars, according to the wishes of the donor and the University. Currently, the sheet music collection is being scanned and made available digitally for viewing. Since federal copyright laws allow only for pieces published before 1923 to be viewed online, those wishing to see post-1923 items in the collection must come to the Foley Center to view those items.
To view the digital collection visit:
The Foley Center Library hosted an exhibit of the donated sheet music. Titled “Battles, Balderdash & Beauty: American Sheet Music from the Howard W. Wildin Collection”, the exhibit, housed in the Rare Book Reading Room on the 3rd floor, opened September 3 and closed December 31, 2013.
Approximately 50 pieces of music from the Howard Wildin’s American Popular Sheet Music Collection of about 20,000 was on display. Highlights include: Old Folks at Home (1851); Bonnie Blue Flag (1861); John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever (1897) and Irving Berlin’s God Bless America (1938). In addition to being historical artifacts, many titles have beautiful covers which are considered works of art. The exhibit is also available digitally at: http://researchguides.gonzaga.edu/sheetmusic.