The bibliography lists nearly 5,000 compositions by 200 composers of jazz and "art" music, indicating where scores or realizations can be purchased, rented, or borrowed, and which Boston area libraries have them in their collections. The music is indexed by medium so that performers can find works for their group or instrument. The bibliography also includes short biographical pieces on each composer and background information such as commissioning agents, dedicatees, prize compositions, timings, and date, place, and performers of premieres.
The Boston Area Music Libraries was founded in 1974. Its 16 member institutions are the Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston Public Library, Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard Musical Association, Harvard University (Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library and Hilles Library), Longy School of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New England Conservatory of Music, Northeastern University, Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts (Boston), and Wellesley College.