Guide to using the Directory of RISM Library Sigla

All fields (Default)

Enter one or more keywords to search across all fields in an institution record. Search terms are combined by default. For example, Archiv Austria will return all institutions that contain the word Archiv and Austria.

To search for terms that can appear in any record, use OR in capital letters: Archiv OR Austria will find all institutions that contain either one term or the other.

Results are sorted by relevance, but with a weight given to the number of holdings in that particular institution, so that larger institutions (and thereby more “prominent” institutions) are sorted first, all other things being equal.

Dedicated Fields

The fields Name, Library siglum, City, and Country can be selected in the drop-down menu for more specific searches. Please note the following:

  • Name: The official name or alternative names of the institution. For example, “National Library of Wales” will return the record for “Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru”, the official Welsh name for the National Library.
  • Library siglum: Sigla are automatically expanded so partial matches are possible. For example, a search for “GB-O” will find GB-Ob, GB-Och, etc.
  • City: Search using the local name. US states can also be searched here by the postal abbreviation (WI, IL, etc.).
  • Country: Search for countries using their names. We make a best effort to match country names in all languages supported by RISM (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portugese, and Spanish).


  • A search for * will retrieve all institutions that have a siglum assigned.
  • In the list of results, click on any institution to see full details for that institution in RISM Online. The “Sources” tab in RISM Online will let you search the source records held by, or otherwise related to, that institution.

Technology used

The sigla search uses the public Sigla Search API from RISM Online. You can read more about how it works in the documentation for this API. Sigla search also works directly in the Institutions search there.