In an age long before wireless speakers, CD players or turntables, friends and family gathered around a piano to welcome the New Year – and bid farewell to the old. In the place of a stack of vinyl records, late Victorians had treasured collections of sheet music.
Many of the popular airs of the day were illustrated with colorful prints or humorous sketches:
Young couples danced away the night to the sound of the latest popular air:
Others sang humorous ditties that warned of Holiday excess:
These samples represent only a tiny fraction of the Filson’s sheet music collection, which dates back to the antebellum era. For further information please contact the Special Collections Department.