The collection does not include the original score for Stars and Stripes Forever, which is held by the Library of Congress, but it does contain the individual parts for the march, along with the parts for Semper Fidelis and the full score for the composer's operetta El Capitan.
Sousa bequeathed the archive to the university because of his friendship with its first band director, A. Austin Harding. He composed the University of Illinois March, and was an honorary conductor of the university's concert band.
The archives will be on display in a small exhibition, called Stars, Stripes, Sousa: Celebrating the John Philip Sousa Sesquicentennial, at the university's Krannert Art Museum through November 28. The Library of Congress manuscript of Stars and Stripes Forever will also be on display.
The sesquicentennial was also celebrated by the university's marching band, which played Sousa's music in pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows of the November 6 football game, and will be marked by other concerts and events throughout the month.