The Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) - International Inventory of Musical Sources - is an international, non-profit organization that aims to comprehensively document extant musical sources world. These primary sources are music manuscripts or printed music editions, writings on music theory, and libretti. They are preserved in libraries, archives, churches, schools and private collections.

RISM was founded in Paris in 1952 and is the largest and only international organization that documents written musical sources. RISM records what exists and where it can be found. As a result, by virtue of being cataloged in a comprehensive inventory, music traditions are protected while also being made available to musicologists and musicians alike. Such work is thus not an end in itself, but leads directly to practical applications.

Read more on Wikipedia in over 10 languages.

Presentation by Sílvia Sequeira in Portuguese.

A video overview of RISM’s work and the online catalog in German, part of the series Tübinger Tutorials zur Musikwissenschaft.

Structure of the Project

Sponsoring Professional Associations

RISM is sponsored under the auspices of two international professional associations:

  • IAML – International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres
  • IMS – International Musicological Society

Commission Mixte

The Commission Mixte consists of ten members, five each from IAML and IMS. Together with the Board of [the associations], the Commission Mixte forms the executive committee that determines the strategic goals of the organization.

Members of the Commission Mixte are listed on the page about the Associations.

Advisory Council

The Council consists of all active members of the different working groups in all countries.

Coordinating Committee

Five elected members from the Council form a Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee facilitates communication between the working groups, the Editorial Center and the Digital Center, conveys suggestions and requests between both sides, and encourages conversation among the working groups.

Members of the Coordinating Committee:

  • JeongYoun Chang (Ewha Womans University, South Korea)
  • Christina Linklater (Harvard University, USA)
  • Eliška Šedivá (National Library of the Czech Republic)
  • Sonia Rzepka (University of Warsaw, Poland)
  • Steffen Voss (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany)


Our motto…
Knowing what exists
and where it is kept

…lives through the exchange of information. Join the RISM Community and learn how you can contribute to the project.