See our Library Services Updates page for information about changes to Rasmuson Library Services.

UAF students, staff, and faculty can now enter the library to pick out or to return their own materials, accessing the library by PolarExpress card.

Public library patrons can again place holds on our materials through the public library's catalog. Items can be picked up at the Noel Wien Library or the North Pole Branch.

University patrons who are reluctant to enter the library can still check materials out by appointment. Set an appointment to pick up items.

Visit the UA coronavirus information website to learn how the University of Alaska is responding to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and find links to communications, policy guidance and resources.


Finding scores and musical recordings in Rasmuson Library

Starting your search

  • When looking for materials in Rasmuson Library, don't hesitate to ask a librarian at the Reference Desk, 474-7482. It's our job to help you find materials.
  • Use the Library Catalog to find scores and recordings owned by the Rasmuson Library.

General search tips

To find recordings or scores available at UAF Rasmuson Library, in the Library Catalog use the Collections limiter to limit your search to UAF Rasmuson & BioSciences Library.

  1. Do an Author search for a composer, performer, ensemble, or conductor, for example dvorak, pavarotti, kronos quartet, or barenboim.
    Example author search in the Library Catalog
  2. Do a Subject search for the type or form of composition, such as arias, quintets, or cantatas.
    Example subject search in the Library Catalog

    Use the limiters on the left to limiter your results to a specific format. Make sure to click Include after checking the formats you want.
    Example of using the Format limiter

  3. Do a Subject search using a composer's name to find biographical or critical materials.
    Example subject search in the Library Catalog

More tips for finding scores

  • Musical works may have multiple names, such as a Form name (piano quintet in A major or quintet in A major for piano and strings), a Popular name, sometimes in several languages (Trout Quintet, Die Forelle, The Trout), or a Uniform title (for library cataloging), which may consolidate all variations in English (Quintets, piano, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, D. 667, A major).
  • Do not perform a title search unless you are 100% certain of the title.
    For example, if you type the word sonata in the title field, you may miss an anthology that contains sonatas. This happens because the title of the anthology is “Original Compositions” and the word sonata does not appear in the title of the anthology. Instead of a title search, perform an All Fields search. Then limit by composer, format, or other limiter. 
  • Instruments may be described differently, for example, piano or keyboard; cello or violoncello; trumpets or brass; choral or vocal.
  • You can also try searching for a score for specific instruments. Try using a subject search for organ music, or saxophone and piano music, and limit to format Music Scores.
  • Individual pieces within a collection may not be listed separately in the library catalog.
  • The key to finding a score is to think up all the different keyword possibilities, and use a words or phrase search to try them out. Include any relevant search terms, for example if you know the composer, and limit to UAF Campus Libraries only.
  • You can also look up pieces in Oxford Music Online searching by composer and looking through the list of their works to find scores in collections. The library has other reference materials that might help; ask at the Reference Desk.
  • You can browse the shelves upstairs. Once you know the breakdown of the M section in the LC classification scheme, you may be able to find what you want more easily by simply looking at the shelves. Don't forget about the Oversize section also; many scores are in that section because they don't fit on the regular shelves.
  • Another way to search for scores is to use the catalog Keyword in Subject Headings.
    The resulting list will also include recordings; it is the comprehensive list of compositions by this composer whether printed or recorded, that the library owns. Note that browsing by subject will give you information about this composer, both biographical and critical, whereas searching by author gives you the actual compositions, whether in score or recorded form.
    beethoven search.JPG

Search for specific audio recordings, on audio CD, cassette tape, or vinyl record

  • Start with a basic search with few limits if you know the title of the recording; if that results in too many hits, narrow it using additional terms.
  • Use the Format limiters to limit your search to CD or Audio Cassette recordings, or Music Sound Recordings for vinyl LPs. Limiting by format means you may miss an outstanding recording that is only available in one format rather than the one you prefer. The library does have portable turntables and cassette players for checkout, in case you want to listen to a record or tape.

Search for videos

  • You can use the Format limiter to find VHS videos or DVDs only but be aware that if you limit by format, you may miss great films in other formats. We have equipment for you to check out if you don't own a player in that format.
  • Use an All Fields search to search for any major actors or singers, the director, or producer, the ensemble or company, etc. You can also search for operas, or jazz, rock, or other genres. You can also use author or subject searches for video recordings, but in most cases a simple word search will bring up results quickly.
  • Limit the Collections you are searching to UAF Fairbanks campus Libraries.

What to do if it's checked out, missing, long overdue, lost, or just not here!

  • If something you want is not where it should be on the shelf, or is checked out, check with Circulation to put a hold or recall on the item, or to get search assistance.
  • If the UAF librares don't own the item you want, you can place a hold on a copy at another library on our catalog system. Keep in mind that many Alaskan libraries do charge overdue fines on films and other media; you will be responsible for paying any fines the lending libraries impose.
  • You may request items through Interlibrary Loan. Most libraries now lend audio CD's, so it's getting quicker to obtain materials by ILL. To place requests go to:
  • We do take purchase suggestions, use the Library Resource Recommendation Form to recommend a resource.
This page was last modified on May 29, 2018