Massenet First Edition Opera Scores Collection Now Available Online

Illustration from Esclarmonde.

Illustration from Esclarmonde.

Our Massenet First Edition Opera Scores Collection is now available for online viewing. Jules Massenet (1842-1912) was a prolific French composer credited with completing 40 operas and numerous other stage works, most notably ballets and oratorios.

This collection showcases eight of Massenet’s works (Cendrillion, Esclarmonde, Herodiade, La Navarraise, La Vierge, Le Mage, Sapho, and Thaïs) and most include stunning illustrations as well as being inscribed by Massenet himself.

These works were purchased through a generous donation from Dr. John K. Adams and represent first  editions of some of Massenet’s more famous operas such as Thaïs, which was based on a novel by Anatole France, as well as more obscure, out of print works like Sapho.

Welcome back music students and faculty!


We here at the Music Library would like to welcome you all back for the Fall Semester. We’ve been working hard all summer and there are a few new things we’d like you to know about as you start the school year.

You may have already noticed that we have a new website, which can be found at We hope you enjoy this updated version of our web presence. In addition to continuing to provide access to library materials and electronic resources, our new home page is the place to find out about new projects, services, and events here in the Music Library. You can also come here to discover our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

hawaiian nightingaleAdditionally, we have recently launched a new digital collection–The Tin Pan Alley Collection. This collection focuses on popular sheet music produced in New York from 1890-1922. The themes covered by these songs include love and relationships, World War I, exotic locales, and much, much more. Those who have an interest in commercial illustration won’t be disappointed as the illustrators represented here include Starmer, Barbelle, Rosenbaum Studios, André De Takacs, and Norman Rockwell amongst others. You can view this collection here or you can read a story about the genesis of the collection here.

mailboxFinally, late last spring we installed student mailboxes. If you’re a music student and you need to leave books, articles, music, etc. for another student this is a helpful delivery system for you to use. You’ll find the student mailboxes located at near the circulation desk, under the sign with a mailbox on it.

Again, welcome back music students and faculty–we look forward to helping you with your research needs in the coming school year!

New Digital Collection

The Music Library is proud to announce a new digital collection: The Hemrick Nathan Salley Family Sheet Music collection: In collaboration with the Digital Collections department, two bound volumes of 19th- and early 20th-Century sheet music were digitized using the Zeutschel overhead scanner.

These volumes are focused on two areas: popular piano music from the mid 1800s, and songs for piano and voice related to blackface minstrelsy from 1899 to 1902. The mid 1800s volume contains some of the oldest popular sheet music found in the Music Library, while the minstrelsy volume contains songs that closely relate to works found in the Center for Southern African American Music‘s (CSAM) collection.

In addition to hundreds of pieces of popular sheet music, the Hemrick Nathan Salley Family Collection contains phonodisc and cylinder recordings, memorabilia, photographs, books, magazines, and musical instruments from the 1800s to the 1980s.

Upcoming digital collection!

Introducing our newest digital collection: L’art Decoratif de Leon Bakst.

“Léon Bakst (1866-1924) was a Russian portraitist and designer who spent much of his career in Paris. This book reflects his extraordinary collaborative work with Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes as well as the dancers Ida Rubinstein and Vaslav Nijinsky. The costumes and set designs in the book demonstrate his modern yet exotic aesthetic as well as a consistently brilliant and detailed use of color. ” (Description by Patricia Sasser of University of South Carolina University Libraries’ Digital Collections.)

This digital collection includes the entire publication, which consists of an extensive introduction, ballet synopses, and beautifully illustrated plates. Included here is the famous dancer Vaslav Najinsky in Afternoon of a Faun (Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune). Interestingly, an internet search returned what appears to be Najinsky in the actual costume based off the plate we’ve included here.

For a truly multimedia experience, USC patrons can listen to the Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun (Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune)on Naxos Music Library here.

We’ll update you once again when this collection is published online, so stay tuned!

New digital collection!

We recently added the Claude Casey digital collection. As of right now, the collection consists of Claude’s scrapbooks, just as he made them (but with a little TLC from the University Libraries’ Conservation Lab!). The scrapbooks chronicle his life from being a little-known musician in South Carolina, through his performances along the East coast, to many behind-the-scenes photographs from Hollywood movies. Over the next few months, expect to see some very interesting ephemera added to this collection. Researchers of musicians and performances along the East coast and over the radio in the 1930s-1940s will particularly enjoy the newest additions. Our good friends over at the University Libraries’ Digital Collections Department are working diligently to add the last few items to the collection, but you can check out their hard work now!
Visit this link to see the Claude Casey digital collection.
Who was Claude Casey?
Before country music achieved mainstream appeal, when the genre was defined as “hillbilly music,” Claude Casey went from a poor boy born in Enoree, South Carolina, on September 13, 1912, to a renowned country musician and film star.  Not only does the Claude Casey collection focus on the celebrated life of a native South Carolinian, but also serves as a time capsule tracing the developments of a musical genre favored by many Americans.
Casey’s musical talents as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter developed while growing up in the Carolinas and Danville, Virginia.  His recording career commenced on July 16, 1937, with the signing of the Claude Casey Trio to the American Record Corporation.  In 1938, Claude Casey and the Pine State Playboys began recording for Bluebird Records while also performing on radio shows at WFTC in Kinston, North Carolina.  By 1941, Casey was performing with the Briarhoppers and Cecil Campbell & the Tennessee Ramblers for WBT in Charlotte. Casey relocated to Augusta, Georgia, in 1951 to work at WGAC, performing with the Sagedusters.  He recorded primarily for record labels RCA Victor and MGM, for whom he did his final recording in 1952 with Chet Atkins.  In 1961, he founded AM radio station WJES (Johnston, Edgefield, and Saluda) and FM station WKSX, both located in Johnston.  In recognition of his contributions to the state, Casey was awarded the South Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1996.
Billed as the Carolina Hobo, Casey also appeared on numerous television shows and in over 10 motion pictures, including Swing Your Partner (1943), Square Dance Jubilee (1949), Kentucky Jubilee (1951), and Forty Acre Feud (1965 [Uncle Foxey Calhoun]).  He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and ASCAP.
After a lengthy and very successful career, Claude Casey passed away at the Edgefield County Hospital on June 24, 1999, survived by his wife, Ruth Derrick, whom he married in 1942, and their two children, Leon and Michael.  The Claude Casey collection was donated to the Music Library in 2006 by Ruth Casey and contains many items that afford a significant portrayal of the hardships and accomplishments of a leading figure in early country music.  Highlights include scores and lyrics, movie scripts autographed by the cast (including Minnie Pearl and Ron Ormond), videos, posters, and signed photographs of famous country musicians.  Among the 78s, transcription discs, reel-to-reels, LPs, and audio cassettes are hundreds of demo, commerical, home, and studio recordings.  Letters and official performance contracts reveal intriguing perspectives of the business driving the country music and movie scenes.