Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments

The Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments comprises over 2,500 pieces of historical and contemporary musical instruments from all over the world. Built on an initial gift from Frederick Stearns in 1899, the Collection is internationally renowned for its surprising diversity – no other major university collection has such a thorough anthropological approach, exhibiting and promoting instruments from cultures on six continents. It is not only a precious heritage from the past, but also a rich resource for musical, educational, and cultural needs of the present and future. Available to scholars and performers, its many instruments are heard frequently in public performances and discussed in depth through lectures endowed by Virginia Martin Howard.


More Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments events

Ways to Connect


To schedule a group tour of the collection, please contact Carol Stepanchuk at 734 936-2891 or e-mail at

Academic Inquiries

For questions regarding a specific instrument, please contact Joseph Gascho by email at Please include the instrument’s catalogue number (if known). Examinations are subject to approval.