Werner Josten Performing Arts Library

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The libraries' music collections moved into the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts in 1968.

Werner Josten Performing Arts Library interior


The Music Library has been housed in three buildings on campus: in Pierce Hall until 1924 when the Sage Hall complex was completed, and since 1968 in the Werner Josten Library, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts. The library collection, which also includes extensive resources in theatre and dance, contains books, scores, audio-visual collections and primary source materials for those interested in understanding and enjoying music.

Werner Josten, for whom the current library is named, was professor of music at Smith College from 1923 to 1949. He was a distinguished composer who taught Composition and produced chamber music and orchestral compositions. Also a great conductor, he directed the Smith College Orchestra in productions of opera, particularly Monteverdi and Handel. The productions are documented in a volume entitled Baroque Opera at Smith College, 1926-1931. A number of scores and recordings of Josten's compositions are cataloged in the Five College Library System. A published bibliography, Werner Josten, 1885-1963: A Summary of His Compositions with Press Reviews, is available in the library's reference collection.

See the Josten Library web page for staff contacts, hours, directions, and more information about the collections. The libraries' subject pages for Music, Dance, and Theatre provide links to databases and other resources. These can be accessed through QuickSearch on our homepage or via the Research page.


Nanci Young, College Archivist,
Alumnae Gymnasium
(413) 585-2976