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Anton Brees Carillon Library facts for kids

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The Anton Brees Carillon Library, located within the Singing Tower at Bok Tower Gardens, is home to various collections that document the history and development of the Singing Tower and Gardens, the historic Pinewood Estate, and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. It also contains many sources on carillon art in general.


The library was created in 1968 following the death of Anton Brees, the first carillonneur at the Singing Tower. It is named in his honor. A Carillon is a musical instrument consisting of at least 23 tuned bells in chromatic series, played from a keyboard. A carillonneur is the individual that plays this instrument. The Bok Tower was created in 1929, along with magnificent gardens and its unique Singing Tower Carillon. Edward W. Bok was the Founder of the Bok Tower and its gardens, which was originally intended as a bird sanctuary. The Anton Brees Library was created later and for a number of reasons no individuals are allowed inside the library. Historical materials from the library are available through an online catalog and digital collections. In-person access to the collections is available by appointment only.


The Anton Brees Carillon Library is located on the fifth level of the Singing Tower. It is one of the largest collections of carillon-related materials in the world.

Bok Tower
The Bok Tower, home of the Anton Brees Carillon Library.

While a relatively small collection with approximately 1,500 books of carillon and related literature, it is the scope of its holdings and ephemera that makes the library unique. In addition to these books, the library also house 900 volumes of trade journals devoted to various aspects of carillon art and related industries. Most important, though, is its collection of over 3,000 musical scores written for the carillon. The library also has 3,000 audio and video recordings and, musical scores for keyboard instruments, and various documents relating to carillon concerts and biographies. Finally, the library includes information on North American and foreign carillons, individuals, and bell foundries.

Carillon of PeterAndPaulCathedral 1
Carillon bells


The library is home to five separate collections. These collections are the ABCL vertical files, Guild of Carillonneurs in North America Archives, Ronald Barnes Collection, Anton Brees Collection, Sidney Giles Collection, and the Arthur Bigelow Collection.

A growing digital archive of the collection provides access to digitized papers, photographs, and ephemera from the collection alongside finding aids and descriptive metadata for interested researchers.

The Singing Tower also houses the Chao Research Center Archives, which includes four separate collections: The Nellie Lee Bok collection of manuscripts and personal correspondence, the American Foundation Collection, the Edward Bok Newspaper Scrapbook Collection, and the Pinewood Estate Collections.

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