Our Collection

Our Collection

Subjects and material

The library holds over 70,000 items covering a wide range of material in various formats. These include books, playscripts, journals, performance scores, orchestral sets, audio/visual material and newspapers, providing support for the academic and performance needs of individuals and groups. Please see our subject pages for information about the resources we have for your course. We have a focus on performance but we also maintain the following general areas:



A range of general and subject specific resources include: bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, directories and specialist reference sources.


Audio / visual

CDs, records and DVDs support the listening and viewing needs of music and drama students alike. The collection includes many classical music recordings and colour coding identifies operas, musicals, popular music, jazz and the spoken word and there is also a collection of sound effects and accent material. We are in the process of updating resources held on older formats but there is equipment in the Library allowing you to view or listen to these items. Please see our using the Library pages for more information about accessing audio / visual materials in the Library.



As well as books on music and drama there are small collections of books and reference works covering other related subjects:

  • Entrepreneurship: books that provide information on starting your own business.
  • Careers: texts and reference material provide information on funding, jobs, careers and further education. The Library can also provide support in researching this area.
  • Disabilities: a small collection of books, and journals related to disability issues.
  • Learning and teaching: materials related to learning and teaching including continuing professional development, e-learning and assessment.


Resources for your course

Please see our pages about resources for drama and resources for music for an overview of the key resources, including online databases and journals.


Need something we don’t have?

The Library regularly purchases new materials and requests from borrowers are welcomed – please see the order form in the Hub. Requests may be purchased or borrowed from another library through the Interlibrary loan service, depending on availability and suitability for our collections.

Please see our Library Charter for advice on how far in advance to request an item – 28 days is a good guideline.

RWCMD staff and students should view our page on the Hub about ordering and lending from other libraries (Interlibrary loans).


Donation policy

The Library is very grateful for offers of donations but unfortunately cannot generally accept these, due to lack of space and staff time to process them. However, we will occasionally accept items of particular interest for our staff and students (usually performance-related).

We do not accept the following:

  • Theatre programmes
  • Magazines and print journals
  • Vinyl, tape cassettes or video cassettes
  • Collections of loose sheet music
  • Poor quality items e.g. ripped, dirty, damp etc.
  • Older text books
  • Dictionaries, encyclopaedias or multi-volume reference works

If you have a collection that you would like to offer to the Library, please provide as much information as possible:

  • Contents of the collection – so that we can check relevance
  • Size of the collection – so that we can confirm the space to receive it

It is usually best to email or post these details to us.

Please note: if your donation is accepted, we do this on the basis that we will add anything relevant to our collection and then make other items available to our staff and students (we typically do this freely although we may sell items to raise funds for the Library or our Student Hardship Fund). We cannot usually collect donations and we are unable to return anything to you once it has been accepted. We will dispose of anything we cannot rehome.