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Please note, the Victorian Music Library is temporarily in storage.

The Victorian Music Library (VML) is a not-for-profit music sheet music library, which preserves and provides for loan a collection of over 20,000 items of catalogued sheet music, and approximately 80,000 uncatalogued items. This number expands on a weekly basis due to strategic purchases and generous donations.

After the New York Public Library, we are the holders of the largest collection of sheet music available to the general public (via membership). We aim to make the music collection available to our members who include orchestras, string ensembles, brass bands, school music departments, musicians, performers, students and music teachers.

Membership is available at a reasonable rate and allows loans from our catalogued collection along with other benefits. We also welcome supporters of the library and gratefully accept all donations which can be made tax deductible.

Establishment

Initial Establishment

The Victorian Music Library was established in 1974 under the Federal Government Innovations Grants. Application for the grant was made by two string teachers from the Victorian Education Department Instrumental Division as a result of research and needs of teachers at professional development days. The application was made on behalf of string teachers, students and the community who urgently needed ready access to print music to stimulate and encourage the playing of string music for students and school string ensembles. (Most string music was and is still a low priority music import into Australia).

The original agreement was for the following:
  • The Federal government would initially provide establishment monies for the purchase of sheet music for string players - solo and string ensemble.
  • The funds for location and staffing would be provided by the Department of Education. There was to be input from the community.
  • The library was established to aid schools, music teachers and music students and was to provide community access, as well as support all musicians.
  • Access to the library would stimulate and support the performance of instrumental music by providing string solo, chamber ensemble, choral and orchestral music etc. for VCE, Australian Music Examinations Board and other ensemble performances.
Current Establishment

The VML is now an independent not-for-profit organisation, and is not funded from any regular ongoing source. 

Apart from the initial grant, the current collections of sheet music within the Victorian Music Library have been provided gratis by businesses, musicians and the community. As a result, the VML comprises one of the largest varied collections of sheet music available to the public in Australia and the southern hemisphere. 

The VML has already had a significant effect on the Victorian music community. A great number of music performing groups now flourishing in Victoria owe their existence to the VML.

Name changes

The Victorian Music Library has gone through a number of name changes reflecting the content of the sheet music collection. It was originally known as the “String Music Library” and then the “Victorian Educational Music Library”. Since the early 1980s it has been known by its current name, “The Victorian Music Library”.

Location changes

The Victorian Music Library was initially housed at Camberwell High School and during that time was required to move to three different locations within the school. Later the library was moved to Graham St. Primary School in Port Melbourne, followed by a further relocation to Moreland City College. In 2006 the VML moved again to The Uniting Church Archives in Elsternwick. In 2014 that site was sold and at present the VML is in storage whilst we look for a new home.