Skip to Main Content

Musicals and Musical Theatre: Scripts and Librettos

Guide to locating vocal scores, cast recordings, librettos, and research sources for musicals and musical theatre
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2022 10:28 AM


Librettos for musicals include the dialogue and lyrics; also known as "the book" of a musical. Librettos are often published by themselves, and the Music Library has many librettos for older repertory. For very recent productions we often have a resource with lyrics. The Music Library does not have full, complete scripts (all words including stage directions) for musicals.

In the library: Lyrics

Lyrics for just the songs are usually printed in the booklets that accompany CD (and sometimes old LP) cast recordings. Look for a note in the catalog record about lyrics in the “description” tab--it will usually say something like "lyrics inserted in container" or "booklet with lyrics..."

In the Library: Librettos

Librettos are printed like books and are in the ML section of the library. Individual shows are in ML50. Collections are in ML48 and ML49. Musicals, operas, and operettas are all combined in these sections. Even though musicals often have a separate librettist, they are alphabetical by composer's last name on the shelf. You can look them up in the catalog by title and either composer or librettist.


Profile Photo
Deborah Chiarella