The primary mission of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature is to carry out basic research, making available essential musical texts and other scholarly materials from the Medieval and later periods to scholars worldwide, without membership or access fees in a manner consistent with the principles of free humanistic exchange of information that are central to scholarly research.
Such research includes:
- the presentation of central texts in the history of music theory as well as historical writings on music (in searchable form, as digitized editions or directly transcribed, edited and/or translated from the original sources, and/or with facsimiles);
- the compilation of bibliographies and similar aids to research on musical subjects;
- the production and publication of original scholarship related to the above texts and subjects.

Illustration: close-up of Crespi's Due sportelli di libreria (by courtesy of the Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica, Bologna)