Access the Archive

Please Note

Archival recordings are for educational use by current University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty with a valid Hawk ID and are not available to the public due to copyrights and permissions. PDFs of concert programs are viewable by the public.

2023-2024 Season >

Ensemble Videos, 2013-present >

View the full archive >

A few search tips

If you know the season you would like to browse, use the Advanced Search and use the dropdown menu to limit your search to Season and enter the year you would like to browse (e.g., 2012). You will get some results from surrounding years because seasons are linked to academic year (e.g., 2012-2013) and not calendar year.

If you are searching for programs featuring a specific performer or ensemble, use the Advanced Search and use the dropdown menu to limit your search to Title and enter the performer or ensemble’s name (e.g., Nicole Esposito or Symphony Band). This works better than a keyword search, which will return any time a person’s name appears in a concert program. Most concert programs contain a list of upcoming performances and this will skew keyword search results to include programs leading up to the concert you’re trying to locate.

About the Archive

The School of Music Recordings Archive is a repository for ensemble and faculty recital recordings and programs. The Archive does not contain student recital recordings. image of sui orchestra recording reel box

The Archive includes reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, digital audio tapes (DATs), compact discs (CDs), printed programs, and born-digital audio & text files.

  • The reel-to-reels include recordings from 1953 to 2003. Earlier reels (1953-1971) are use copies from the collection of James Dixon. Later reels (1972-2003) are masters from the UI School of Music Recording Studio, which were transferred to the Rita Benton Music Library in 2016.
  • The cassette tapes include recordings from 1971 to 2002 and largely duplicate content available on reel-to-reel tape, though there are some recordings which are unique to this format. Cassettes tapes are use copies made for the Rita Benton Music Library for use by current faculty, staff, and students.
  • The digital audio tapes include recordings from 1993 to 2002, which includes some compact discs. Compact discs are available from 2002 to 2014. Compact discs are use copies made for the Rita Benton Music Library for use by current faculty, staff, and students.
  • Print program collections are available in University Archives (Records of the School of Music, RG 06.24.01, programs pre-1994) and the Rita Benton Music Library.
  • After 2014, the Music Library began collecting all School of Music recordings from the Recording Studio and programs from the Division of Performing Arts as born-digital files. Some video recordings are available for concerts 2013-present, which derive from live-streams produced by the Office of Strategic Communications. Most video recordings are of band, orchestra, and choir concerts.

The recordings and programs collections are not comprehensive. 

Using the Archive

Current UI faculty, staff, and students may access recordings, 2003-present, in the Iowa Digital Library’s Iowa Sounds collection. Access to audio and video recordings is restricted due to copyright. For more information, please see the University of Iowa Libraries’ statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.
Concert and recital programs are also available in the Iowa Digital Library, and may be searched, viewed, and downloaded by the public.

Participants in a concert or recital may request a copy of that performance’s recording.  Duplication requests are handled using an online system, Aeon.

Duplication Request Instructions

To determine if a recording is held in the archive, please contact the Rita Benton Music Library, providing as much detail as possible about the ensemble, date, and content of the performance (e.g., Symphony Orchestra concert from 1988-1990, Dvořák’s New World Symphony was programmed). The Music Library staff will examine the archive to determine if a recording and/or program is available, and in what format(s).

Current and Future Plans for the Archive

  • The Music Library is working to digitize portions of the older, more fragile collections (reels and DATs). In Summer 2021, all reel-to-reel, cassettes, and DATs from the Archive were sent to The MediaPreserve to be digitized. In Fall 2022, digitization was completed and all tapes returned to the Music Library.
  • The Music Library plans to scan all concert and recital programs held in University Archives. Programs are freely available to view and download in the Iowa Digital Library’s School of Music Recordings Archive digital collection.
  • The Music Library anticipates the inclusion of more video content in the Archive. The Music Library and School of Music are partnering to bring select video content to the public via the School’s YouTube Channel.
  • The Music Library plans to review current digital holdings to identify public domain or works for which licensing or permissions can be obtained so as to make more performances available for streaming as open access recordings.