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Australian Music Centre Library

Borrow from the world's largest collection of Australian music

The Australian Music Centre Library has been collecting the works of contemporary Australian composers for over 40 years. The collection, the most comprehensive of its kind, is the only source for many of these recordings and scores. We now provide instant access to full PDF perusal scores of close to 12,000 works, with new works added each week.

The Australian Music Centre makes scores and CDs available to AMC members as:

Digital loans: downloadable PDF files of the full score file, watermarked with your name, loan status and the loan expiry date. Digital loans are available to AMC members anywhere the world.

Physical loans: select items, such as CDs and published editions of scores are available for physical loan by post. Individuals or organisations wishing to borrow items from the collection must be members of the Australian Music Centre, resident in Australia. Postage charges apply.

Items available for digital loan are not available to borrow in a physical format.

Members are able to borrow up to:

  • 30 digital score loans per calendar month (3-week loan period from download)
  • 10 physical items at any one time, for 4 weeks (2 or 3 weeks for some high-demand items)

Items made available for loan are strictly for research and perusal purposes only and may not be photocopied or used in either public performance or for performance assessments and music exams.

Loans may be made by telephone or email - contacts and opening hours.

Interlibrary Loans are available through all public and academic libraries in Australia. Read our Interlibrary loan and document delivery policy.

Make a loan request

If an item isn’t available as a digital loan (e.g. CDs and some published materials), members can place loan requests by or by contacting us. Please include the shelf numbers (e.g. 'Q 788.32/EDW 1', 'CD 248') of the items you want to borrow in your request.

Joining the library

If you are not already a member of the Australian Music Centre, you can join online and begin borrowing from the library immediately.

Using the library – your questions answered

How do I access scores available for digital loan?

To download digital loan scores, simply log in as a member of the Australian Music Centre. If you are not a member, you will need to sign up to a membership first.

Once logged in, find the web page for the work you want to borrow and click the link “Download a three-week perusal copy of this score”. You will need to be on the page for the Score (sheet music) of the work, so if you can’t see the download link, just click on the picture that says “Sheet music” to take you to the right page.

For more detailed instructions, see our guide to digital loans.

If you aren’t a member you can join online and have instant access to start downloading loans from the library.

What if something I want to borrow isn’t available as a digital loan?

If an item you are after is not currently available for digital loan, you will be provided with a link where you can request that it be added to the digital collection. If it is a score that can be made available for digital loan, our team will add the score and contact you once it is available to download from our website. This may take up to a week as our physical access to these scores is limited. If it’s not possible for the score to be made available for digital loan, we will inform you of this. In many cases you will then be able to request to borrow the score as a physical item by post.

If there is no link to request the score for digital loan, then we are most likely not able to make it available digitally, and you can to request to borrow the physical copy (if the AMC has one). This will generally be the case for published and out-of-print works.

How many digital loans can I make?

Individual Members can borrow up to 30 digital scores per month. School and Institutional Members are able to borrow up to 50 digital scores per month. If you need to access more than your monthly quota, you can purchase extra credits which will enable you to download additional perusal scores.

Can I visit the library?

Unlike most libraries, the Australian Music Centre doesn’t have a physical library that you can visit without an appointment. However, you can request the materials you would like to peruse and make an appointment to view them once we have retrieved the materials for you. Please allow at least one week's notice to arrange a viewing appointment.

Any scores that are available for digital loan are only available as digital loans – you will not be able to peruse hard copies of these works.

To request materials for perusal, please , including work title, composer or CD name and shelf numbers (e.g. 'Q 788.32/EDW 1', 'CD 248'). Please allow at least one week to arrange a viewing appointment. Visits will depend on availability of suitable space for you to use at our office.

I have access requirements and need a physical score. What should I do?

If you have specific access requirements that necessitate a physical loan, please contact our library team or call 1300 651 834.

I don’t have access to a computer – how can I borrow digital scores?

For a small fee to cover the cost of printing and postage, we will post a temporary physical loan score to you, watermarked with your name and the date of the loan expiry. After this date you must destroy the copy (i.e. please tear it up and recycle it).

Can I print sheet music borrowed as a digital loan?

Yes but you can only keep the printout for the loan period. Printed music includes watermarks identifying the sheet music as a perusal-only copy which may no longer be used after the loan period. Any printed copies must be destroyed after the three-week period (i.e. please tear it up and recycle it); retaining any such copies is illegal.

Can I use sheet music borrowed as a digital loan for performance?

No. Music accessed as a digital loan is for perusal/research purposes only and may not be used for public performance or for performance in an examination, competition or any other such occasion.

Purchasing copies of scores for performance respects the rights of artists to their works, and helps them to continue creating new work. Using borrowed scores for performance is a breach of artists’ copyright.

You must purchase a copy of any sheet music you wish to perform and may be required to obtain a licence from APRA.

What file format are digital score loans in?

Digital score loans are downloaded as PDF files and simply require your computer or mobile device to be able to view the latest version of the PDF format. You can download the Adobe Reader here.

These files are watermarked with the name of the 'borrower' and include security mechanisms which prevent the file from being opened after the loan period of three weeks. To access a file after this period you must download the sheet music again from the AMC website.