The Renaissance Archives in the School of Music constitute one of the world's premier research facilities in the field of Renaissance music. The Archives were established in 1968 by Professors Charles Hamm and Herbert Kellman, with the explicit pupose of aiding and stimulating research in the music of the Renaissance (1400-1600), particularly research on the original manuscript and printed sources of that music.

The scope of the primary information assembled in the first two decades can be seen in the CENSUS-CATALOGUE OF MANUSCRIPT SOURCES OF POLYPHONIC MUSIC, 1400-1550, 5 vols., ed. Herbert Kellman et al. (Rome: American Institute of Musicology; Neuhausen-Stuttgart: Haenssler-Verlag, 1979-1988). This work, the outcome of research sponsored by the Archives and supported by a ten-year NEH grant, identifies and describes the 1,600 existing manuscripts of polyphony from the main phase of the Renaissance.

A vital resource for ongoing research is the Archives' collection of microfilms, now one the most complete of its kind in the world. Housed in the MUSIC LIBRARY (2146 Music Building), it includes:

  • Microfilms of virtually all 1,600 manuscripts described in the Census-Catalogue
  • Microfilms of many manuscripts of polyphony composed in the period 1550-1600.
  • Microfilms of the majority of printed anthologies published 1500-1550.
  • Microfilms of many of the single-composer prints published in the 16th century.

Additional research resources, produced since the appearance of the Census-Catalogue and housed in the ARCHIVES' OFFICE (3006 Music Building), include the following:

  • Files for all 1,600 manuscripts described in the Census-Catalogue, each file containing a detailed table of the manuscript's contents (only a summary appears in the C-C), and unpublished research materials concerning significant aspects of the source itself or its contents.
  • Digitized tables of contents of the 700 manuscripts, prints, and treatises that include one or more compositions by Josquin des Prez, with indexes of titles and composers of the 25,000 works in these sources.
  • Digitized tables of contents of the 540 printed anthologies published between 1500 and 1550 (listed in RISM B1, ed. Lesure), with indexes of the publishers and places of publication of these, and of the titles and composers of the 13,000 works they contain.
  • A comprehensive bibliography of scholarship pertaining to the sources of Renaissance music.

The resources of the Renaissance Archives are available on-site to any scholar or student.

Please address inquiries to: Prof. Herbert Kellman, Director, Renaissance Archives, School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1114 West Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801. email: telephone: 217-367-8511.
Inquiries regarding only the use of microfilms and/or the Music Library schedule can be addressed to Prof. John Wagstaff, Music Libarian, at the same School of Music address. email: telephone: 217-244-4070.