The library's main listening room holds over 15,000 LPs as well as rare scores and books about music. An adjacent room with high-density storage provides access to over 20,000 compact discs. In addition to physical media, the listening room is equipped with hi-fidelity streaming, utilizing Qobuz and TIDAL through Roon, thereby providing access to tens of millions of additional uncompressed recordings. An opera browsing room provides an exhaustive selection of several thousand recordings of opera on both LP and CD, including many of Fr. Ralston's favorite performances. Live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City are shown in the listening room throughout the season. A separate headphone listening room with turntables and CD players allows duPont Library patrons to listen privately to uncompressed music on high-quality equipment at any time during library hours. DuPont Library's circulating collection of over 7,000 physical format recordings is housed between the loudspeaker and headphone listening rooms. Completing the facility, a 3,000 square foot reading room containing duPont Library's music books and scores provides the most popular study space on campus.

On a normal school day, the Ralston Library is alive with activity, as students at the University host and attend listening sessions and film screenings, professors teach classes, and community members and visitors from the world over browse the collection and experience the playback system.



"The Ralston Music Listening Library is unique in the United States and perhaps the world."
John Marks, Sewanee Magazine

"An absolutely seamless soundfield from top to bottom. You simply do not hear the individual drivers. This results in a frighteningly life-like presentation that is absolutely addicting."
Frank Berryman, Ultra High-End Review

"I had the uncanny feeling that I was hearing everything at some indefinably high level of resolution. Breathtaking."
Jonathan Scull, Stereophile

The William Ralston Listening Library is free to visit and open every weekday for drop-by visits during listening hours. Visit our calendar for current open hours and other programming. Appointments may also be made outside of scheduled listening hours by contacting the head curator at

Further Resources

Read about the project on Future Audiophile.
Read about the project in Stereophile magazine.
Read about the project in
Sewanee magazine.

Read about the project in the Cross Country Songbook blog series.

The project has also been featured as a unique university space in national lists compiled by Southwest: The Magazine and Online Schools Center.