Karin Weißert: Internship report

Karin Weißert

Thursday, March 26, 2020

As part of my bachelor’s degree in musicology at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, one is required to work an internship that lasts 150 hours.

For my internship, I resolved not to go to an opera house or concert hall to learn the organizational requirements of putting on events. This area of arts administration is one I knew from my previous career, so I looked for something that had more to do with music itself and/or its storage, processing, or documentation.

For me this meant music publishers, libraries, or precisely RISM. RISM, which I knew from my university research and saw it as an excellent resource for my work during my studies, seemed to me to be especially suitable because it combines not only music and text but also includes digitization: a technology that not only documents knowledge but also transmits it worldwide.

After a simple application procedure and a very informative interview, my internship began on Monday, January 13, 2020 and ended on Friday, February 14, 2020. After an introduction at the computer where I was shown the first steps, I tried entering data from old catalog cards, which entailed inputting new records and enhancing them (adding holdings to printed editions). It was important to make sure that duplicate records were not created.

Further tasks involved enhancing holdings by adding shelfmarks and references to secondary literature. I added references to catalogs of works for Melchior Franck (AufF) in 130 records and Jean-Baptiste Lully (LWV) in 660 records. Searching in the online catalog of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and revising titles for sources were just as interesting to me as editing secondary literature references for imported French data. I enjoyed working with music incipits the most. And in the end my minor in Scandinavian Studies/Norwegian got its due: I think that I nicely translated the RISM Wikipedia entry into Norwegian. (Publication will follow shortly.)

Staff meetings dealt with strategies, further developments, and work procedures and they gave me, as an intern, very good insight into what makes RISM tick.

Although my internship lasted only five weeks, I was active in eight different areas of work, giving me comprehensive insight into the varied activities of RISM.

Both the variety of the work and working independently made time fly by and I was never bored and never felt unappreciated. My time with RISM let me expand my knowledge in a very stimulating and extremely satisfactory way, and through my internship I could come to appreciate an interesting area of work.

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