Holding over 2,500 historical and contemporary musical instruments from all over the world, the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments is one of the largest accumulations of such artifacts housed in a North American university. Known internationally as a unique collection, it is not only a precious heritage from the past, but also a rich resource for musical, educational, and cultural needs of the present and future.
The collection features permanent and occasional displays in the Vesta Mills Gallery and in various exhibition areas throughout the Earl V. Moore Building of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. Exhibition hours for self-guided tours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
Additionally, there is an exhibit gallery in the Lower Lobby of the University's Hill Auditorium. Exhibition hours and access are limited to holders of tickets for previously scheduled Hill Auditorium events.
There are two published catalogues documenting the holdings of the Stearns Collection. The first is entitled, Catalogue of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, and was written by Professor Albert A. Stanley in 1918, with a second edition published in 1921. Additionally, current Professor and Chair of Musicology James M. Borders published a catalogue in 1988 entitled European and American Wind and Percussion Instruments: Catalogue of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, University of Michigan. All of the content from both of these catalogues has been incorporated into the searchable online catalogue
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