Since its inception in 1820, the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia has amassed a remarkable collection of music, programs and documentation concerning the Society’s history and governance. Much of this material is of considerable historical and artistic interest.
After the sale of the Musical Fund Hall in 1924, the collection was dispersed to a number of locations, notably the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, but in 1991 all of the extant archives were donated to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library.
This collection is available for use by scholars as well as the general public. The policies of the University of Pennsylvania special collections center at Van Pelt can be found here: https://www.library.upenn.edu/rbm/
Links to specific guides to MFS collections are here:
There is an excellent site about MFS which was compiled by the former Archivist of the rare books collection, Marjorie Hassen, which can be found here: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/rbm/music/mfs.html
Keffer Collection of Sheet Music
Van Pelt also houses the Keffer Collection of Sheet Music, which was compiled by Dr. Edward Iungerich Keffer (1861-1933), a Philadelphia dentist and accomplished amateur musician. The collection was bequeathed to the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia upon Dr. Keffer’s death and was housed at the Free Library of Philadelphia until the move to the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. More information can be found here: http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/keffer/hist.html
Other Important Collections
Van Pelt also houses a number of other important collections of interest to musical Philadelphians, which can be found here: