Zentralredaktion Frankfurt

Annual Report, 2015

Foundation: Internationales Quellenlexikon der Musik e.V. Kassel. Honorary Presidents: Dr. Harald Heckmann, Ruppertshain; Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Wolff, Cambridge/Freiburg; President: Dr. Wolf-Dieter Seiffert; Munich; Vice President: Prof. Dr. Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl, Salzburg; Secretary: Dr. Laurent Pugin, Bern; Treasurer: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz; co-opted members of the board: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad, Würzburg; Prof. Dr. John H. Roberts, Berkeley. Commission Mixte (Delegates from AIBM and SIM): Richard Chesser (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Sergio Durante (SIM), Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (AIBM); Dr. John B. Howard (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad (SIM); Prof. Dr. Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl (SIM), Catherine Massip (AIBM); Dr. habil. Christian Meyer (SIM); Prof. Dr. John H. Roberts (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Wolff (SIM). Director of the Zentralredaktion: Klaus Keil, Frankfurt.

Address: Internationales Quellenlexikon der Musik, Zentralredaktion, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Campus Bockenheim, Senckenberganlage 31-33, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main. Tel.: +49 69 706231, fax: +49 69 706026, e-mail:, Internet:

Publishers: Series A/I, series B volumes VIII,1-2, and series C: Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel; series A/II, Internet database: EBSCO Publishing, Inc., Birmingham, AL, USA; series B (except for volumes VIII,1-2): G. Henle Verlag, Munich.

Web and server hosting: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz (databases); Digitale Akademie der Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur (website).

Personnel: Dr. Martina Falletta, Stephan Hirsch, Klaus Keil, Guido Kraus, Alexander Marxen, Jennifer Ward, Isabella Wiedemer-Höll, Harald Wingerter.

The International Inventory of Musical Sources (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales – RISM), with the Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt, is under the patronage of the Association Internationale des Bibliothèques, Archives et Centres de Documentation Musicaux (AIBM) as well as the Société Internationale de Musicologie (SIM) and is responsible for documenting printed and manuscript transmissions of music worldwide. Series A/I indexes individual prints published between 1600 and 1800, and series A/II indexes music manuscripts after 1600, with extensive descriptions, including their locations. Both series originally were to be arranged alphabetically by composer name, as is the case in the printed volumes of series A/I. Since both series are now published as databases, far more access points can be offered. Series B is designed to cover specific categories of repertory, such as printed anthologies from the 16th to 18th centuries, German hymns, source literature on music theory in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and Persian, etc. Series A/I, A/II, and B are supplemented by series C, the Directory of Music Research Libraries.
Series A/I: Issued in nine main volumes, four supplementary volumes, and one index, and on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM of series A/I was released in December 2011. It contains all of the entries from volumes 1-9 and the supplements. The CD-ROM data were converted and transferred to the future cataloging program Muscat (see below). They have been available in the RISM online catalog since May 2015. After Muscat is released, national groups will have the opportunity to submit corrections and add new information.
Series B: Thirty-two volumes in this series have been published so far, most recently B/XVI: Catalogue raisonné of the Balinese Palm-Leaf Manuscripts with Music Notation. Described by Tilmann Seebass with the cooperation of Hedwig I. R. Hinzler (Henle Verlag: Munich, 2015).
For volume B/I (anthologies), Howard Mayer Brown had prepared a revision of the entries for sources published between 1500 and 1550. This revision will not appear in book form but was, as with the A/I data, transferred to Muscat and incorporated into the online catalog. These data have also been available online since May 2015.
Three special volumes entitled Das Tenorlied were published between 1979 and 1986.
Series C: Five volumes have appeared to date, as well as a special volume issued by the RISM Zentralredaktion, RISM Bibliothekssigel-Gesamtverzeichnis (RISM Library Sigla, Complete Index). Since that time, the index of sigla has been made available through RISM’s website as a searchable database, which also contains contact information such as mailing address, website link, and e-mail address. From the siglum entry, one can directly access the holdings of a library as indexed in the online catalog. Together with the AIBM Publications Committee it has been possible to issue revised versions of volumes II and III,1. An agreement has been made with the AIBM working group Access to Music Archives (AMA) to revise the series, which will be edited and published as an online database. An interface was created in the new Muscat program and among the data scanned and then corrected by working groups, entries from Denmark were input as a test. Members of AMA continue to work on this.
Series A/II: In this series, manuscripts containing polyphonic music written after 1600 are thoroughly described and cataloged. Series A/II is the most comprehensive endeavor that the entire RISM project is undertaking and is its main focus at present. Contributors from more than 35 national groups around the world document music manuscripts at their home libraries and archives. The national working groups use computers to enter their descriptions and the majority connect directly to the RISM server through the Internet. To facilitate this, the cataloging program Kallisto is available from the Zentralredaktion free of charge. The transmission of digital information reduces the amount of editorial work required and speeds up completion of the project.

Since the start of the project a total of ca. 945,000 entries have been registered at the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt.

The following groups used Kallisto in 2015 to create new records for works: Austria, Heiligenkreuz: 112 records, Innsbruck: 398 records, Lambach: 622 records, Salzburg: 1,428 records + 112 records (Mozarteum), Schlägl: 67 records, Vorarlberg: 58 records, Vienna: 665 records (Akademie der Wissenschaften) + 18 records (Michaeliskirche); Belgium: 3 records; Canada: 3 records; Czech Republic, Brno: 221 records, Prague: 2,967 records; Germany, Dresden: 6,222 records, Munich: 8,037 records, partnership with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: 2,539 records; Hungary: 1,606 records; Italy, Rome (DHI): 27 records; Lithuania: 11 records; Mexico: 99 records; Poland, Lublin: 4 records, Opole: 139 records, Warsaw: 1,589 records, Wrocław: 847 records; Russia (Glinka Museum, Moscow): 184 records; Slovakia: 8 records; Slovenia: 55 records; South Korea: 187 records; United Sates: 1,284 records.

In addition, we received 30 records on paper slips from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. 2,512 records were entered into Kallisto by the Zentralredaktion from older holdings.

Some working groups use their own cataloging systems and sometimes send their data after a longer preliminary period. We wish to mention the following in particular:
England/United Kingdom: A database of music manuscripts was developed together with the RISM office in Ireland. The database is freely available online ( In the first half of 2011, 55,000 records were converted and transferred to the RISM database. The data were published in the RISM online catalog in December 2011.

Switzerland: The Swiss working group did not participate in the changeover to Kallisto. Instead, they have been using a program that employs the same data model of the British working group. The data that have been entered since then will be transferred to the RISM database when the new cataloging program is developed (see below).

France: At the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, a database was created of music manuscripts kept there, from which a book catalog (of composers with last names beginning A–B) was published in 1999. In addition, as part of the series Patrimoine musical régional, handwritten and printed materials in the provinces were processed and also published as a book catalog. In the meantime, records from RISM France can be found in the portal “Catalogue collectif de France” ( There are records for ca. 8,000 manuscripts that were created before 1820 (by composers with last names beginning A–H) and 15,600 items of printed music before 1800 from the Département de la musique, and ca. 34,000 records from the Patrimoine. Records from the Département have been received by the Zentralredaktion and were imported into our system. These records need to be checked for duplicates in the already existing data.

Italy: Coordinated by the Ufficio Ricerca Fondi Musicali (URFM) in Milan, various regional groups are working on the documentation of manuscripts, prints and other sources. Records are entered into the national SBN Musica database, which is administered by the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo unico delle Biblioteche Italiane (ICCU). An agreement has been reached with ICCU to transfer this data to RISM. At the same time, the working group Istituto di Bibliografia Musicale (IBIMUS) in Rome has been using the program PIKaDo and sends their records directly to the Zentralredaktion in the course of their projects. When the new projects begin, which are currently on hold due to insufficient funding, the current RISM cataloging program will be implemented.

Furthermore, there are partnerships with individual institutes:

As part of a project sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Historical Institute in Rome is undertaking work on the collections of two Roman princely houses. The sources are being digitized and described using Kallisto in accordance with RISM standards. This project has been completed.

An agreement was made with the Richard Strauss Quellenverzeichnis to have the descriptions of musical sources contained on their website ( also appear in the RISM online catalog. So far, 650 records have been imported.

As part of the DFG KoFIM project (Kompetenzzentrum Forschung und Information Musik/Center of Excellence for Research and Information in Music), the collection of autograph manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin are being digitized and described using RISM’s software. Not only will sources be recorded in the RISM online catalog, but links to their digitized surrogates will be added as well.

A further partnership exists with the Archivio della cantata italiana (Clori). Since there is some overlap with the data in ICCU, data from the Clori project will be transferred after the ICCU data.

RISM is also interested in further partnerships with databases of sources from projects that produce critical editions. Data from such projects that are transferred to the RISM database should include links to the original databases and elements that are necessary for searching.

During the reporting period, the RISM manuscript database increased by an additional 32,000 entries and it now contains a total of ca. 922,000 records.

After publishing the data for series A/II on microfiche in the 1980s and annually on CD-ROM beginning in 1994, RISM has offered the data free of charge in an online Internet catalog since July 2010. The development of the software for searching was made possible through collaboration between RISM and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Around 215,000 records have been added to the initial inventory of ca. 700,000 records to make a total of around 915,000 records. As outlined above, records from series A/I and a portion of B/I were additionally incorporated, so that the total number of records offered online has grown to 1,018,300. On average in 2015, the online catalog was visited by about 7,350 people per month over 35,000 visits (annually: 88,200 people with 418,200 page views).

The new version of the online catalog has the ability to limit the results to records with links to digitized items, allowing users direct access to images of the source. This capability has found great popularity among RISM users. There are currently ca. 16,500 such links available.

Since July 2013, the data in the online catalog have been available as open data and as linked open data since 2014. This service is directed at libraries that wish to import their records into local catalogs, or musicological projects that want to make a catalog of sources that covers a specific topic as a basis for research. The Zentralredaktion has developed tools to simplify the data delivery process, including an SRU interface. These tools are also used: using the SRU interface, for example, the data end up in the local catalogs of the Bibliotheksservicezentrum (Library Service Centre) in Konstanz, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek in Dresden (SLUB). The research project Detmolder Hofmusik (Detmold Court Music) uses the data as a basis for further, detailed investigation of the material. It is RISM’s wish that users take advantage of these services in order to share corrections or supplemental information with the Zentralredaktion. Additional tools will be developed for this.

The online catalog, which is available on the Internet free of charge, motivates more and more people and institutions to contribute to the project. In particular, there is growing interest among individual institutions to see their holdings indexed in the RISM online catalog. The Zentralredaktion also increasingly receives suggestions and corrections from users.

The database is also offered through EBSCO Publishing, Inc. as a package with our partner projects RILM and RIPM (see; however, the RISM data are missing recent updates.

The RISM Zentralredaktion considers one of its tasks to be providing optimal technical and advisory support to the working groups. In technical areas, data exchanges and software development are in the foreground.

The development of the new cataloging program Muscat, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Swiss working group, has made further progress and another test version could be sent to the Coordinating Committee. The program is expected to be released in the first half of 2016.

Advisory support begins by training contributors in new or existing working groups. From an editorial standpoint, the Zentralredaktion is responsible for unifying data and editing authority files: personal names, institutions, and (sacred) texts. This is carried out in close cooperation with the working groups, which receive continuous supervision. To improve communication with working groups, users, and other people interested in RISM, the Zentralredaktion has developed several tools in recent years:

The RISM website, developed with the cooperation of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur (Digitale Akademie) in Mainz, is regularly updated by the Zentralredaktion and the working groups. It enjoys increasing popularity, having welcomed 63,600 visitors this year, or about 5,300 visitors each month. In total, 1,523 people have registered on the website.

A RISM Facebook page appeals to another international audience and has 1,271 fans. RISM is also active on Twitter.

The brochure RISM: An Overview may be obtained from the Zentralredaktion. It is available in an English-German version as well as English-Russian. A new, updated version of the former was published in 2015.

On Wikipedia, short articles in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish are available.

Klaus Keil, January 2016


Series A/I; series B, volume VIII, parts 1 and 2; series C
Series B (except for volume VIII, parts 1 and 2)
Series A/II CD-ROM (1995-2008)
Series A/II subscription database (2002-2006)
Series A/II subscription database (2006-present)
Congress report (2010)