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Sheet music store owner Dorothy Starr is interviewed in November of 1986. After her death in 1990, the sheet music collection was sold to the San Francisco Public Library. Starr's motto for her store -- Used and new music - all kinds -- also neatly describes the Dorothy Starr Collection at the San Francisco Public Library. Starr was drawn to all music, whether rare or commonplace, pristine or in tatters, originals or photocopies. Best known as a great resource for popular songs, they actually make up less than 20% of the Collection. Indeed, within the Collection of over 300,000 pieces of sheet music is everything from 600-page opera scores to the single-leaf song broadsides; music from the 18th century through the 1980's; music for all the instruments of the orchestra and all manner of choir and ensemble; and children's music as well as folk songs from all over the world. Over 10,000 popular songs -- one segment of the Collection and a fraction of the overall holdings -- have been cataloged since 1992 by librarians and volunteers into a publicly-accessible sheet music database. In its entirety, the Collection is much too vast and far too fragile for browsing, although specific songs can be requested from the Art, Music and Recreation Center in the Main Library and photocopied for personal use. Larger musical scores and books from Starr's inventory have been incorporated into the Library's music collection and are identified with a distinctive stamp that incorporates the logo Starr used for The Music Stand. Learn more about accessing the Dorothy Starr Collection: http://sfpl.org/?pg=2000024701
Sfpl San francisco public library San francisco Sfpl.org Dorothy starr Sheet music Oral history The music stand The dorothy starr collection