Mills Collage

Among the many collections at the Mills Music Library: The Wisconsin Music Archives, containing 35,000 artifacts from our musical past.

Charles H. Mills Music Library

Located in the basement of the Memorial Library (B162)

Mills Music Library, a member library of the General Library System of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the primary resource for music materials and information on the UW campus and in the state. While our main clientele are from the UW campus community, Mills is open to the general public with appropriate identification.

Over the course of its history, Mills Music Library has grown from a 2,500-item departmental collection to a research library of more than 250,000 titles, with special collections containing an additional 250,000 items in all formats. Special strengths include Americana, musical theater, recorded sound, and ethnomusicology.

The Music Library was first located in Music Hall. The collection moved with the School of Music to the Humanities building when it opened in 1969. That space soon proved inadequate and in the early 1970s, the south basement of Memorial Library was excavated to provide for a new Music Library facility. In the summer of 1974, Mills Music Library moved to its current location, B162 Memorial Library. The facility was completely redecorated in January 2007.

The Music Library houses staff offices, open stacks, a seminar room, a special collections (Locked Case) facility, and the Audio Facility. Music Library study carrels and reading tables provide seating for about 50 users.

Mills Music Library was named for Charles H. Mills, director of the School of Music from 1914 to 1937. “When he came to Wisconsin, the School of Music offered only a two-year course leading to a certificate. During his tenure here, it became a four-year course leading to a Bachelor’s degree, and Master’s and Doctoral programs were introduced. One of Mills’s last public appearances was at the 1937 commencement exercises, where he escorted his first Ph.D. candidate, Robert A. Sromovsky. The program was shifted from a conservatory-type course to a broader educational program in which nearly half the credits earned by graduates were in subjects outside of music including English, History and languages. Mills believed that it was important for musicians to be well-rounded individuals.”

To view all music archives, click here:

To reach the full library website, click here: Mills Music Library.