Nashville has earned the nickname Music City, but a music collection at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro is something neither Nashville nor any other city can likely match.
MTSU is home to the Center for Popular Music, where music scholars from around the world come to look, listen and learn.
More than 100,000 pieces of sheet music and 200,000 recordings comprise this music Mecca.
"I think the Center is not known to many people in Middle Tennessee. It's probably better known in the world than it is around here," said director Dale Cockrell.
He is surprised by something in the collection every day, which spans nearly 300 years of music.
The belief here is that music defines us and always has.
"If we want to know who we are now, we've got to know who we were then," Cockrell said. "I would dare say [music] is probably the most intimate thing that you carry with you. It expresses who you are more closely than anything else."