Ward Irish Music Archives

Established in 1992, the Ward Irish Music Archives houses the largest public collection of Irish music in America. It is named after John J. Ward Jr., father of Irish Fest founder Ed Ward. The archive currently consists of more than 40,000 Irish music recordings and pieces of memorabilia ranging from rare 78 rpm's, LP's and sheet music to song books, instruments, and concert memorabilia. Many of the archives items are extremely difficult to find today, and our diverse collections focus on subjects such as Irish traditional music, Irish folk songs, Scottish music, and Irish contributions to American popular music.

American Library Association Choice Review


We were happy to discover that the Irish Sheet Music Archvies website was reviewed in the recent issue of the American Library Association's Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Here's a snippet of J. G. Matthews' of Washington State University Libraries assessment:

"This archive's design is consistently elegant, uncluttered, and richly illustrated.  The potential for such a resource is enormous: scholars of 19th-century visual culture, printing, publishing, illustration, design, technology, and history--as well as music performers, composers, and historians--are richly served by this archive... This resource possesses value and relevance far beyond its scope, because in addition to being an invaluable source for Irish music, the site sets a precedent for online archive design and functionality."

Read the full review here!

Ward Irish Music Archives Wins 2014 AASLH Award of Merit


The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Ward Irish Music Archives is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the Irish Sheet Music Archives website (http://irishsheetmusicarchives.com). The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 69th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.


Irish Sheet Music Archives Website

Online now!

Irish Sheet Music Archives website

The Irish Sheet Music Archives website, irishsheetmusicarchives.com, will be the home of the online sheet music collections found in the Ward Irish Music Archives. Original published sheet music, a frequently overlooked and neglected primary historical source, actually affords us a unique, fresh, and fascinating window into the thoughts and feelings of past generations. This new website will give people access to thousands of pieces of sheet music created between 1750 and the present. Read more... or visit the site now!

Sign Up for our Newsletter



Connect with WIMA

WIMA Facebook WIMA Twitter WIMA YouTube




Dunn Family Collection

Explore the Dunn Family Collection microsite, which contains audio from the Francis O'Neill cylinders, historic recordings of Irish traditional music made c. 1904. Also browse manuscripts, photos, and other items from the collection!

Latest Videos