Ars Femina Archive

I’ll be helping out with organizing the Ars Femina Archives in the Special Collections of Indiana University Southeast Library.

The Ars Femina Archives consists of musical scores by women, composed between 1500 and 1900. This collection, assembled by the Ars Femina ensemble, Indiana University Southeast’s ensemble in residence, will eventually include nearly 3,000 scores in print and microform. It documents the important but under-recognized contributions women have made to the development of musical style.

We’re not sure there are actually 3000 scores in the Archive, and that’s one of the many things we’ll be sorting out as well as figuring out a way to make the archive available digitally. The digitization happened 15 years ago through a grant and is in much need of sorting and arranging.

Ars Femina: L to R: Suan Reigler, Bill Bauer, Jim Oxyer, Linda De Rungs, Kathie Whiteside, Lyna Hurd

Ars Femina was formed in 1985 in Louisville, Kentucky and

is a chamber music ensemble of professional musicians and scholars whose pioneering work on women composers before 1800 has attracted an international following through its scholarship as well as its performances on both radio and television. Ars Femina breathes life into every concert with spoken (often humorous) explorations of the passions and prejudices that have inspired and silenced women composers. The ensemble performs in a variety of settings, from classroom to concert hall. Programs of varying length are tailored to young audiences from kindergarten through high school. College concerts may also include workshops in historical performance practices and other related topics.

Here’s an early piece about the ensemble in Louisville Music News.

Related Links

Ars Femina website ( save):
IU Southeast Special Collections page: