The Gaylord Music Library Special Collections houses rare books and scores such as:
- Over 300 Mozart and Beethoven first and early editions formerly part of the eminent British musicologist, Alan Tyson’s, personal collection
- The Belleville-Garnett Purchase of 1976 added 130 early editions and facsimiles of late-17th- through early-20th-century composers
- The acquisition of the Ernst C. Krohn Musicological Library in 1966 strengthened our resources with an outstanding collection of musical Festschriften and an extensive Americana collection of tune-books and hymnals, with many rarities
- The George C. Krick Collection of Guitar Music is an important source of more than 350 19th- and early 20th-century pieces of guitar music
- A manuscript by a copyist contemporary with Johann Sebastian Bach of his chorale prelude “Christus der uns selig macht”, BWV 747
- The manuscript of Edward MacDowell’s “An old garden,” no. 1 of his piano suite New England Idyls (1901-1902), op. 62
The collection continues to grow to add many 18th- and 19th-century items to increase holdings in French opera, Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt, to name just a few.
About Ernst C. Krohn
Ernst C. Krohn was central to the founding and development of the rare books and scores collections at Gaylord Music Library. He was a St. Louis music teacher, self-taught musicologist, and archivist as well as a music library collector.
He was born in New York City on December 23, 1888, and died in Santa Fe, NM in 1975. Early piano studies in New York began with the neighborhood teacher and with his father a church organist. After the family moved to St. Louis, Krohn worked as a clerk for Shattinger Piano and Music Company from 1907-09. Economic circumstances required Krohn to discontinue formal education after one year in a St. Louis high school. After several failed business attempts, his father began the Krohn School of Music and Ernst began teaching full-time in 1909. Even while teaching, Krohn continued his own development studying with Ottmar Moll for a period of five years. In 1914, Moll offered Krohn a teaching job as Moll’s “first assistant” at Lenox Hall and later as a faculty member of the Ottmar Moll Piano School. Krohn continued to teach privately until 1953.
In addition to teaching piano privately he taught music courses at both Washington University (1939-1953) and St. Louis University (1953-1963) before either had a music department. Krohn was an avid collector of books about music and scores and particularly of sheet music. In 1964, Krohn continued his bibliographical work at the Gaylord Music Library of Washington University. He sold his collection of more than 10,000 volumes to Washington University in 1966 and was named Honorary Curator thereof. His publications which number more than sixty books, articles, reviews, dictionary entries; and, more than a dozen solo piano works; and, numerous editions for Art Publications Society and Shattinger Music Company include A Century of Missouri Music (1924, 1965), The History of Music: An Index to the Literature Available in a Selected group of Musicological Publications (1952), Music Publishing in the Middle Western States before the Civil War (1972), and Music Publishing in St. Louis (1988). He was an early contributor to Musical Quarterly.