The Mills Music Library Digital Collections provide online access to some of the unique materials found in the Special Collections Department of Mills Music Library, including the Wisconsin Music Archives. Among these online collections you will find thousands of pieces of published sheet music from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, page-by-page access to one of the most important sources of Civil War era band music, discographies of our holdings of recordings by two important Wisconsin recording companies, and an online repository of the Wisconsin ethnic heritage materials collected by Helene Stratman-Thomas.
During the Civil War, the town of Brodhead, Wisconsin, was the hometown of a band associated with the 1st Brigade of the Union Army. Their partbooks were preserved by the descendants of the band members and were acquired in the 1960s. The online collection presents one of the very few extant collections of this repertory.
Helene Stratman-Thomas traveled through Wisconsin between 1936 and 1947 collecting recordings of ethnic music, as well as taking photographs and making notes on cultural practices of various Wisconsin immigrant groups. The online collection provides full access to this significant collection.
The sheet music collection consists of three sub-collections: the Americana Sheet Music Collection, the Popular Sheet Music Collection, and the Wisconsin Sheet Music Database. The Americana and Popular collections provide bibliographic access to our extensive collection of sheet music published in America in the nineteenth century. The Wisconsin Sheet Music Database identifies sheet music publications either published in Wisconsin, written by a Wisconsin composer, or with a thematic connection to Wisconsin.
The recordings databases provide discographic access to the catalogs of the Cuca and Paramount Recording companies. These companies were important for their activity in recording early blues, ethnic music, and rock during the mid twentieth century.