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Rita Benton Music Library

Popular Music Research Tools

Popular Music Research Tools: a list

Getting Started

Not sure how to structure a research project or even where to begin? Check out this handy guide.

Tools for Finding Background Information

Encyclopedias and Biographical Dictionaries

A list of reference sources on popular music, artists, bands, producers, labels, and more.

Tools for Finding Books

InfoHawk+

Find books and e-books available at the University of Iowa Libraries

WorldCat

Find books available in libraries around the world, use Interlibrary Loan to obtain a copy.

Bloomsbury Popular Music Books

Find comprehensive and authoritative information about all genres of popular music worldwide, from the early 20th century to the present day. Online.

Google Books

Find books and e-books and see previews of their table of contents and even sections of the text. Online.

Tools for Finding Articles

newspaper icon

Current and Historical Newspapers

Find citations and abstracts of international music scholarship in a wide variety of publications, including journals, books, book chapters, symposium and conference proceedings, and much more.

Find citations and some linked full-text for articles in scholarly and popular music journals, including Rolling Stone and Billboard. Some full-text.

 

Music Index

Find citations and abstracts of international music scholarship in a wide variety of publications, including journals, books, book chapters, symposium and conference proceedings, and much more.

Find citations and some linked full-text for articles in scholarly and popular music journals, including Rolling Stone and Billboard. Some full-text.

 

Music Magazine Archive

Series of digital collections focused on 20th and 21st century genres such as Rock, Folk, and Hip-Hop & Rap. Each genre-based collection unites every page and every issue of a diverse and influential group of magazines. These publications uniquely capture the social and historical context of each genre, and together support scholarly research areas such as race, class, gender, American studies, youth culture, and more across some of the most progressive decades of the 20th and 21st centuries. Online.

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are all included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Online.

Music Periodicals Database

Find some full-text articles and citations for international music publications, especially concert and recording reviews. Some full-text.

JSTOR

Find full-text articles in this archive of scholarly journals covering a wide range of topics, including music. Online.

RILM

Find citations and abstracts of international music scholarship in a wide variety of publications, including journals, books, book chapters, symposium and conference proceedings, and much more. Some full-text.

Google Scholar

Search using Google's tools to find articles and books on your topic. Some full-text.

Tools for Finding Audio and Video Recordings

Alexander Street Video and Music Online  

Stream thousands of sound recordings, including folk, rock, rap, pop, classical, and world music. Limit your search to Contemporary World Music or American Song for more pop and rock results.

Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950 - 1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest

Find thousands of colour images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period in our recent history. Topics include student protests, civil rights, consumerism, and the Vietnam War.

Naxos Music Library

Stream over 100,000 albums and almost 2,000,000 tracks from this database of largely western art music sound recordings. 

InfoHawk+

Find CDs, LPs, DVDs, and VHS tapes available at the University of Iowa Libraries

WorldCat

Find audio and video recordings available in library collections around the world