Bio-bibliographical Index of Musicians in the United States of America Since Colonial Times (1942) is another one of the many scholarly projects of the New Deal and the Works Project Administration. This work was actually created under the auspices of several organizations including the District of Columbia Historical Records Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, the Library of Congress, and the Pan American Union.
Originally published in 1942, the index provides access to information about American musicians from colonial times through the 1930s indexed from 66 sources. Each entry provides the musician's name, years of birth and death in parentheses, as well as their musical profession. If a musician was foreign born, their name is preceded by an asterisk and their nationality is provided. There are abbreviations listed that referred to each source, followed by pages numbers for where information can be found.
Because a large percentage of these musicians indexed here are unknown to us today, this reference work is an excellent source to consult when trying to track down obscure musical figures of the distant past.
This index was the second volume of the Music Series of the Pan American
Union, an organization promoting regional cooperation. All of the
introductory material in the book is translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Our copy is the 2nd edition, published in 1956. The value of the book is evidenced by its subsequently being reprinted twice in the 1970s.
The Bio-bibliographical Index of Musicians in the United States of America Since Colonial Times has subsequently been scanned by archive.org. Both the original 1942 edition and the nearly identical 2nd edition from 1956 are available to be perused online.
Bio-bibliographical Index of Musicians in the United States of America from Colonial Times = Indice Bio-bibliografico de Artistas Musicales de los Estados Unidos de America Desde Tiempos Coloniales = Índice Bio-biliográfico de Musicistas dos Estados Unidos da América desde os Tempos Coloniais (Music Section, Pan American Union, 1956).