The Performing Arts Library is a comprehensive research facility for music, housing books, periodicals, scores, microfilm, and sound recordings. The materials are housed in two areas of Douglass Library: the print collection on the ravine level, and the recordings in the Media Center.
The Performing Arts Library's print collection, which consists of scores, periodicals, and books, is housed on the Ravine level of Douglass Library. Patrons can explore the collection through the , the online catalog of the Rutgers University Libraries. Subject areas of special strength are historical musicology and the history of music theory, with current emphasis on the development of performance materials. Areas of concentration in collection development include: monuments of music, sources, complete and collected works of composers, opera, instrumental music for study and performance, and monographic materials. Rare holdings include a notable collection of 18th century prints and manuscripts of works by Handel, located in the Special Collection and Archives section of the Alexander Library.
The Music recordings collection contains the majority of audio-visual materials held by the combined Laurie Performing Arts Library, and is integrated with the resources held by the Media Center, which is located on the ground floor. All sound and video recordings for the building are shelved in closed stacks. The materials circulate only to faculty and graduate students, but all others may view or listen to them in one of the Center's many playback carrels (please present a valid photo ID). Reserves for Music Department classes are kept in the Media Center.
Patrons can explore the collection via the . The vast majority of the sound recordings are of classical music, although there are several thousand spoken word LPs as well. The Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies in Newark contains a much larger archive of Jazz recordings. The videos are also focused primarily on the performing arts - dance, opera, symphonic performances and in-depth documentaries on instruments and performance practices. Music Department student recitals are also held by the Performing Arts Library.
The library also subscribes to databases that offer streaming audio, including Naxos Music Online and the Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM). These can be accessed on campus or at home by using your Rutgers NetID account.