Library of Congress Acquires ASCAP Collection

The Music Division in the Library of Congress recently announced that it has acquired archival materials from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publisher (ASCAP) Foundation, the not-for-profit arm of the world’s largest performing-rights organization, representing more than 275,000 creators.

The ASCAP Collection has been established to preserve the history and to create a repository for video and audio materials, photos, scores, documents and artifacts relevant to the rich history of the institution of ASCAP and ASCAP members as contributors to American culture. The gift of these materials reunites much of it with many of the special collections given to the Music Division over the years by individual ASCAP members, including Victor Herbert, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Caesar, George and Ira Gershwin, Vernon Duke and Aaron Copland.

Materials already received include music manuscripts, printed music, lyrics (both published and unpublished), scrapbooks, correspondence and other personal, business, legal and financial documents, scrapbooks, and film, video and sound recordings. Materials will continue to arrive indefinitely, and those already received are currently being prepared for researchers.

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first United States Performing Rights Organization (PRO), representing the world’s largest repertory of more than 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 350,000 songwriter, composer and music-publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists.