At a Glance


Scanned images from more than 2,700 pieces of sheet music provide insight into life in 1852–1900 California.

Mary Kay Duggan, Museum Informatics Project, University of California, Berkeley

Nineteenth-century California Sheet Music

Image for Nineteenth-Century California Sheet Music

These scanned images come from more than 2,700 pieces of sheet music published between 1852 and 1900 in California. The website also includes more than 800 illustrated covers, 48 audio selections, eight video clips of singers, and a handful of programs, posters, playbills, periodicals, catalogs, broadsheets, books on music, and maps. More than 350 items contain advertising.

Explanatory essays of 1,000 to 2,000 words in length provide general information on music from more than a dozen ethnic cultures, and with reference to specific topics, including buildings, composers, dance, disasters, gender, mining, performers, politics, product ads, railroads, and sports. Provides 14 links to additional sheet music collections and reference sources. These resources are valuable to those studying popular culture, California history, music history, advertising, and depictions of ethnicity, gender, and race in 19th-century America.