Skip to main content

Today's Hours

View All Hours

About Beckwith Music Library


The Beckwith Music Library was founded by Professor Robert K. Beckwith in 1959 when funds for Collection Development & purchasing were developed. The Library was managed by Professor Beckwith until his death in 1989. A full time librarian was hired in 1993 to manage the library. In 1994 the library was fully expanded, renovated and modernized, both physically and electronically. In 1999 the miniature score collection was moved into room 107 to provide needed shelving space for the Music Library.  Technology-friendly furniture was added to the reading room in 2007 to accomodate new listening equipment and to provide space for laptops and group study.


The Music Library houses primarily the scores and sound recordings. There are approximately 13,000 scores, 6,000 cds, 5,000 lps, 100 audio cassettes, and 700 video recordings. New books about music & current music periodicals are housed in the Music Library. The Main Library houses 5,000 volumes of books about music and 50 periodical titles (bound volumes). Sets of choral and band music are housed in separate areas in Gibson Hall.  Reference copies of the choral sets are shelved in the reading room. The current reference collection is located in the Music Library, while older editions may also be found in the Main Library.

Loan Policy
The Music Library primarily serves students who major or minor in music or participate in musical ensembles, but anyone from the Bowdoin community is welcome to use the library or listen to sound recordings in the library. Bowdoin College Library loan periods

Electronic & Media Stations

There are four public computers, 2 MAC/PCs and 2 PCs, with access to the Library Gateway, office software, music index and audio Databases, the Internet, Finale, and other related programs.  Individual listening stations are equipped to handle all video and sound formats. A photocopier/printer is also available.


Course reserves are located behind the circulation desk and may be checked out for two hours for in house library use only; they do not circulate out of the library overnight. Some reserves may also be available online. To locate a reserve list for a class, go into the Library Gateway and click on the Reserves tab.  Course reserves may include scores, books, tapes, CDs, LPs, videos, or digitized formats.

Find Reserve Material
Submit Reserve Material (Faculty)