Penn Library Department of Special Collections

William Penn

Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
ca. 1790-1895

Content and design by John Bewley

Collection History
Guide Statistics
Focus on Philadelphia
Composers Publishers Lithographers Imagesand Music
List of Topics
Related Resources

Philadelphia Music Publishers: George Willig (1764-1851)

George Willig was born in Germany in 1764. In 1794 Willig was in Philadelphia where he took over the business started in 1793 by John Christopher Moller and Henri Capron, the first music publishing company in America. Willig continued to publish through the 1840s, becoming one of the most active and long-lasting music publishers in the United States. Willig's son, George Jr., was also active in the business, operating the Baltimore branch of the company from 1829 until his death in 1879. Geogre Willig, Sr. had acquired the Baltimore store from Thomas Carr in 1822 when Carr moved to Philadelphia. Willig's Philadelphia firm was taken over by Lee & Walker in 1856, five years after his death.

Willig was the first of the American music publishers to issue a catalogue of his publications. His first catalogue dates from 1807. A second catalogue, dating from around 1824 is in the collection as (Box , no. ). The library also holds letters written by Willig to Boston publisher and music-seller, John Rowe Parker. These letters are located in the John Rowe Parker Correspondence,1802-1840.

There are approximately 336 items published in Philadelphia by George Willig and his son in the collection.

Philadelphia Music Publishers

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