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Expanded Leonard Bernstein Online Collection

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Leonard Bernstein at Harvard, 1939? Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

In celebration of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, the Library of Congress is happy to announce that we have greatly expanded our Bernstein Online Collection, now giving access to 3,741 items and over 42,000 pages of archival material. Through the online collection researchers can find:

  • Music – See sketches for Candide, Chichester Psalms, Kaddish, Mass, On the Town, A Quiet Place, West Side Story, and Wonderful Town. Also included are Bernstein’s coursework, including his counterpoint and harmony exercises.
  • Correspondence – You can now read correspondence to and from the Bernstein family, Marc Blitzstein, Nadia Boulanger, Paul Bowles, Helen Coates (Bernstein’s secretary), Betty Comden, Aaron Copland, David Diamond, Irving Fine, Lukas Foss, Adolph Green, Serge Koussevitzky, Renne Longy-Miquelle, Dimitri Mitropoulos, David Oppenheim , Jerome Robbins, William Schuman, and Mildred Spiegel Zucker (a childhood friend).
  • Writings – Find scripts and notes for Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and other programs, as well as writings related to particular topics such as Civil Rights, conducting, Israel and Judaism, Mahler, New York Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic, among others.
  • Scrapbooks – Browse the complete run of the 130 volumes of the Bernstein scrapbooks scanned from the Library’s microfilm copies.
  • Photographs – View 515 photographs related to many of the aforementioned individuals and topics.
  • Audio Recordings – Listen to 17 audio clips, mostly of Bernstein speaking.
  • Miscellaneous — See a handful of miscellaneous items from the Bernstein Collection, including his birth certificate and passports.
Leonard Bernstein working on a score at his piano, 1956. Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.



Of course, researchers can read about the contents of our complete Leonard Bernstein Collection in the collection’s finding aid. Researchers are welcome to consult the Bernstein Collection in person in the Performing Arts Reading Room Monday-Saturday from 8:30am-5pm. Questions about the Bernstein Collection? Contact us via Ask a Librarian – our reference librarians are ready to help!





The Library of Congress continues to celebrate Leonard Bernstein during his centennial celebration with two upcoming events (click on the titles for more information):

Leonard Bernstein’s America – Concert in Coolidge Auditorium
Friday, May 18, 2018 at 8:00pm
Michael Barrett, music director
Julia Bullock, soprano  |  Amy Owens, soprano
Amanda Lynn Bottoms, mezzo soprano
Joshua Blue, tenor Adrian Rosas, bass-baritone

Bernstein Centennial Minifest Day-long program in the Madison Building
Saturday, May 19, 2018 – 11:00am-5:00pm
Feel the Bernstein: dive into our special, day-long program, an immersive experience anchored by an extensive display of manuscripts, letters, playbills,  photographs and memorabilia, sketches, casting notes, and designs. The day will include informal talks by Music Division curators, video clips from Bernstein’s lectures and educational shows, a #Declassified presentation on “Bernstein and Social Identity,” and plenty of interesting revelations: fascinating stories, notes, and cut songs from On the Town, West Side Story and Candide, with pianist Jon Kalbfleisch and a team of singers on hand for musical vignettes.


  1. This is wonderful! Thank you all so very much.

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