Digitisation of Traditional Format Library Materials

Digitisation Project Brief - Australian patriotic music, 1900-1930

General description of the proposed project

The Library’s Australian sheet music collection contains a significant amount of patriotic and national music, with music relating to World War 1 being a feature of the selected time period 1900-1930. The collection includes music about war, historical, political and national events as well as national “anthems”. The music works are by Australian composers, lyricists, arrangers, etc., or have an Australian patriotic or national association. This does not include songs or other vocal works, which are covered in the category Australian patriotic songs, 1900-1930.

These music items are collocated in the Library’s catalogue by the institution specific subject heading Australian patriotic music, 1900-1930

Collection material of relevance to the project

Australian patriotic music (1900-1930) is located in the music collection at: MUS N mba; and comprises approximately 219 music items (estimate of 1,314 pages).

To be digitised from the original collection material.

Levels of use and user groups – current and anticipated

Readers, musicologists, researchers and historians use music about Australia, its people, history, culture and national identity. It is anticipated that the digitisation and on-line availability of these music items will create a greater awareness in the community of the importance of music in the development and history of Australian society and culture.

Bibliographic coverage of the collection

Each of these music items has been fully catalogued with a bibliographic record on the National Bibliographic Database and in the National Library’s catalogue. The items can be found by searching the catalogue under various access points: title, names (composers, lyricists, etc) and subjects, including the Library’s institution specific subject heading Australian patriotic music, 1900-1930.


DISCLAIMER: The National Library of Australia disclaims liability for the use of the information provided in this page. The guidelines have been produced to aid Library staff in the digitisation of collection material. The National Library of Australia accepts no responsibility for the loss occasioned as a direct or indirect result of the use of the information in these guidelines.

Each item in the Library’s Australian sheet music collection published between 1900 and 1930 is stored in mylar pockets or plastic zip-lock bags. The items are then housed in boxes stored horizontally on the shelves, so the sheet music is laying flat. Most items in the collection are in reasonable condition, with some requiring minor repairs.

Intellectual property or other rights

As the selected items consist of music published between 1900 and 1930 there should be no problems or issues re intellectual property or other rights.

IT requirements

Most of these items can be scanned using existing flat bed scanners. Some items may need to be digitised using an overhead camera. The digital images will be available as part of the Library’s digital collections.

Resource requirements

This collection can be absorbed within the 2002-2003 financial year digitisation work plan to meet the established targets.


It is hoped the digitisation of the Library’s 19th and early 20th century Australian sheet music collections will generate increased interest in Australian music and will support and lead to other significant projects and developments in the delivery of Australian music to the community, both nationally and internationally.

This digitised material will help support the development of the MusicAustralia service.


An estimate for completion of this work is June 2003.

Other considerations

Other 19th and early 20th Century Australian printed sheet music has already been digitised and is available online through the Library’s digital collection and the MusicAustralia pilot.

Contact officer: Robyn Holmes, Curator of Music


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