Consists of unsold published sheet music and method books that were part of the Hunleth Music Company (St. Louis, MO)'s unsold stock when the store closed in 1974. It documents the types of published music typically sold to musicians and band ensembles in the U.S. Midwest during the first half of the 20th century. Also includes a small number of collector photographs documenting Midwestern classical music and opera performers at the turn of the 20th century and records related to local music teacher Robert Lehrmann (1879-1948) and the Gibson School of Music (1889-1937).
The University of Illinois purchased nearly 750,000 pieces of unsold sheet music and unsold 78-rpm sound recordings after the Hunleth Music Co.'s closure in 1974. This collection reflects only a portion of the store's unsold inventory.