Some of the finest images of uniforms can be found on the covers of nineteenth century music sheets. In particular, American militia and volunteer units are represented on large numbers of scores; indeed, in some cases, such images represent the only known depictions of certain regiments. The military collection has over 600 individual music covers depicting American military scenes, units and persons, the oldest dating from 1810. The vast majority date from the 1830's and 1840's when the militia movement was at its strongest. Many pieces were composed for the visit of one unit with another, while others include marches written especially for the new regiments then being formed. The Civil War spawned a vast outpouring of patriotic music. For instance, Hurrah for the 44th at the top of the page was dedicated to the 44th Regiment (4th Battalion) of the Massachusetts Volunteers, and the picture was lithographed in 1862 by the Boston company of Louis Prang. Other pieces were written to celebrate famous victories or the leading generals of the day. American sheet music can be found also in the Harris Collection.
Many sheet music covers from other countries are also in the collection, an example being the French piece above depicting Zouaves. In the British section are pieces composed for victories in the Crimean War of 1854-55, the winning of Victoria Crosses in the Zulu War of 1879, and gallant generals such as Charles Gordon who was killed in Khartoum in 1885.