Columbia College Chicago

Library and Archives

Reference Services

Explore black music using all of our published and archival print and audio-visual resources, including scores and sheet music. 

CBMR reference librarians may be available during open hours to help you–just ask. Appointments are highly suggested, and can be requested by email at cbmrref@colum.edu or by phone: (312) 369-7586.

The Reading Room now has an acoustic baby grand piano for use during specific times, if it will not disturb other patrons, and during events. During the Fall 2016 semester, come by to play from 11:50a to 12:30p and all day Friday. An electronic keyboard is available for your use at all times.

link to Collections Database

Try it! Click on the image to explore collections at the CBMR!

Now available! CBMR Collections database online: The preliminary release of our new collections database is now available at http://cbmr-webapps.colum.edu/archon/. Collections and information are being added on a regular basis. It is still under construction–we invite your feedback! Please send any questions, suggestions, or information about broken links to: lmoses@colum.edu

Books and theses, plus commercial recordings on CD may be discovered in the library catalog. See other website pages linked below for more general information about archival collections and a partial list of sound recordings.

Visiting Us

618 South Michigan Avenue, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Reading Room hours

Fall 2016 Semester:
Monday–Thursday, 10am to 4pm and Friday from 10am to 1pm.

For appointments, please contact us at cbmrref@colum.edu or 312-369-7586.

Access and Hours

The CBMR Reading Room is free and open to the public!

Library hours are 10a to 4p (Central Time) Monday–Thursday, and 10a to 1p on Fridays. Appointments are highligh suggested to ensure that a librarian can assist you. The CBMR Library is located at: 618 South Michigan Avenue, 6th floor, in Chicago, Illinois.

The books, recordings, and archival collections of the CBMR Library are non-circulating. They can be consulted by anyone on-site during the Library's hours of operation. Copies can be made by staff as needed, within guidelines of copyright law.

Send research requests to cbmrref@colum.edu, or feel free to call us at (312) 369-7586. Our fax number is (312) 369-8029. For material donations, please contact the Archivist at (312) 369-7518.

Visitors who are not affiliated with Columbia College Chicago may be required to show a current photo ID (faculty or student ID or current driver's license or state ID) and to sign in at the security desk in the lobby of 618 S. Michigan Avenue.

Correspondence should be addressed to:

Center for Black Music Research Library and Archives
Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

Collections and Types of Materials

The Library and Archives of the Center for Black Music Research holds comprehensive research collections covering all genres and styles in black music of the United States and the African diaspora.

Collections include:

  • books
  • periodicals and newsletters
  • commercial and noncommercial (unreleased) sound recordings in many formats
  • printed and manuscript sheet music and scores
  • photographs
  • video recordings
  • manuscripts and archival materials
  • programs and publicity
  • clippings from newspapers and publications
  • oral history interviews
  • research notes and files
  • an in-depth collection of theses and dissertations on black music
What you can do here at the CBMR

Students, visitors, and faculty come to the CBMR's Reading Room for:

  • classes,
  • discussions,
  • tours, and
  • events, as well as to ... 
  • research black music for both coursework and personal projects,
  • study in small groups,
  • write,
  • listen to 78s or LPs,
  • find new repertoire, and
  • discover inspiration in sound, image, moving image, and words in a multiplicity of ways!

You may freely use the thousands of books and dissertations, periodicals and newsletters, vertical file materials such as clippings and programs, photographs, scores and sheet music, analog and digital recordings, oral history interviews, and archival collections on site. Copies can also be made for your convenience for school projects and other uses. Some additional permissions may be required, but the librarians are happy to assist with this process. If a librarian is not available to help you when you drop in, appointments can be made for short or longer reference assistance time frames by emailing cbmrref@colum.edu or calling the reference desk at (312) 369-7586.

Sign up for email announcements!

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.

×