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Music Research - Open Web Resources: General Resources

There are many resources available on the open Web to help you with your music research. The resources listed here are organized into general resources that can be helpful with music research, and resources specific to the discipline of music.

Internet Indexes

Web indexes are falling out of fashion, as the Web grows faster than anyone can track it. Still they are sometimes useful.


Searchable people-reviewed web directory categorized by language, subject and location. Edited and run by volunteers, supported by AOL. Content available in over 85 languages.


ipl2 is a merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites. It is maintained by a consortium of universities, led by Drexel.

WWW Virtual Library

The oldest directory of content on the web, begun in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee himself.

Libguides Community

Libguides are an online platform popular with libraries for organizing research and reference resources. This link goes to a searchable repository of over 400,000 Libguides, like this one. All are librarian-curated collections of resources.

Internet Encyclopedias


The granddaddy of internet encyclopedias, founded in 2001. Larger than encyclopedia Britannica, while roughly as accurate. The world's seventh-most-popular Website. 286 language editions besides English.


Wiki-based project launched in 2006 by one of the founders of Wikipedia. Seeks to improve on Wikipedia by increasing reliability of information. Still small, but it might amount to something someday.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Public online version of the venerable reference work. Articles written by recognized experts. Includes citation tools.


A collaborative project like Wikipedia, but more free-wheeling in scope. In addition to information articles, includes poetry, humor, fiction.


Wiki-based online encyclopedia with high-quality scholarly content; unfortunately it focuses on the hard sciences.


Project Gutenberg

The world's oldest digital library, founded in 1971. A volunteer project focused on the digitization and archiving of cultural works. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books.


Online repository of public-domain and freely licensed text content of all types. 

Wikimedia Commons

Online repository of public-domain and freely-licensed images, sounds, and video. 

Internet Archive

Vast, public online repository of text, audio, and video content, and computer software. Also includes "Internet Wayback Machine."

Valenciana Digital Library

A project of the Library of Valencia, this digital repository contains around 6,000 volumes, mostly related to the cultural heritage of the Valencia region of Spain. There are separate browsing categories for music scores and opera librettos.