May 26, 2022

Mississippi State University Libraries Receives Janice Cleary Sheet Music Collection, Becomes One of Largest Sheet Music Repositories in the U.S.

From Mississippi State University:

Mississippi State University Libraries is significantly expanding its printed music resources and becoming one of the largest sheet music repositories in the country with the donation of the Janice Cleary Sheet Music Collection.

A resident of Omaha, Nebraska, Cleary assembled one of the largest sheet music collections in the United States, spanning over 175 years and containing nearly 50,000 pieces featuring a wide variety of composers including George Gershwin, Eubie Blake, Charles L. Johnson, Cole Porter, Henry Mancini, Jerry Herman and Andrew Lloyd Webber.


Internationally renowned pianist, ragtime entertainer and seven-year Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival artistic director Jeff Barnhart encouraged the Cleary family to donate their extensive collection to MSU after Cleary’s son Jim reached out seeking a new home for it.

As Barnhart recounts, “Janice Cleary, who is still with us at the age of 95, couldn’t read a stitch of music but enjoyed the way her collection brought people together to perform, listen to and enjoy pieces found therein. She also wanted to be sure her collection would be shared by as many people as possible into perpetuity,” he said.

Learn More, Read the Complete Acquisition Announcement

Direct to Mississippi State University Libraries Special Collections

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.