Zentralredaktion Frankfurt

Annual Report, 2017

Foundation: Internationales Quellenlexikon der Musik e.V. Frankfurt am Main.

Honorary Presidents: Dr. Harald Heckmann, Ruppertshain; Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Wolff, Cambridge/Freiburg; President: Dr. Wolf-Dieter Seiffert (until November 2017); 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 IAML and IMS): Mathias Auclair, (IAML); Prof. Dr.Egberto Bermudez Cujar (IMS); Richard Chesser (IAML); Prof. Dr. Dinko Fabris (IMS); Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (IAML); Prof. Dr. Markus Grassl (IMS); Prof. Dr. Beatriz Magalhães Castro (IAML); Dr. Balázs Mikusi (IAML); Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt (IMS); Prof. Dr. Christiane Wiesenfeldt (IMS). 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, email:, Internet:

Publishers: Series A/I, series B volumes VIII,1-2, and series C: Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel; series A/II, Internet subscription 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, Björn Kessler, Guido Kraus, Alexander Marxen, Jennifer Ward, Isabella Wiedemer-Höll.

The International Inventory of Musical Sources (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales – RISM), with its Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt, is under the patronage of the Association Internationale des Bibliothèques, Archives et Centres de Documentation Musicaux (IAML) as well as the Société Internationale de Musicologie (IMS) and is responsible for documenting printed and manuscript transmissions of music worldwide. Series A/I indexes imprints published individually 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 the nine volumes and the supplements. The CD-ROM data were converted and transferred to the cataloging program Muscat (see below). They have been available in the RISM online catalog since May 2015. Since the release of Muscat, national groups have had the opportunity to submit corrections and add new information. The ability to add new locations and links to digital reproductions has been used especially frequently. A fundamentally new orientation of the series is planned in cooperation with the Sächsische Landes- und Universitätsbibliothek (SLUB) in Dresden, which has received funding from the Specialised Information Services (FID) program of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Series B: Thirty-three volumes in this series have been published so far, most recently B/XVII: Die Triosonate. Catalogue raisonné der gedruckten Quellen, ed. Ludwig Finscher, Laurenz Lütteken, and Inga Mai Groote (Munich: Henle, 2016).

The entries from volume B/I, for sources published between 1500 and 1550, were revised by Howard Mayer Brown and were originally supposed to be published as a revised book. These were instead used to create entries for a database and were incorporated into the online catalog in 2015. In the meantime, the remaining pages of volume B/I and all of volume B/II were scanned and turned into a text file. There is also an (incomplete) revision available by Gertraut Haberkamp for the second half of B/I. In addition, data from Early Music Online were incorporated. By combining these resources, RISM intends to provide entries from both volumes in an improved form in the online catalog. Thanks to funding from the cultural fund of the organization VD-Musikedition, a number of entries from B/I were revised and scanned data from the portion not yet in the online catalog were prepared for publication.

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 email address. From the siglum entry, one can also directly access the holdings of a library as indexed in the online catalog. Together with the IAML Publications Committee revised versions of volumes II and III,1 were issued. An agreement has been made with the IAML project group Access to Music Archives (AMA) to revise the series, which will be edited and published as an online database.

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 working 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 connects directly to the RISM server through the Internet. Most of the working groups use Muscat, which was developed expressly for this purpose and is available free of charge. The digital transmission of 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. 1,003,000 entries for series A/II have been registered at the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt.

The following groups used Muscat during the reporting year to create new records: Argentina: 1 record; Austria, Innsbruck: 291 records, Lambach: 531 records, Leonding: 88 records, Salzburg: 208 records (Mozarteum), Vienna/Linz: 787 records, Vorarlberg: 20 records; Belgium: 8 records; Czech Republic, Brno: 2,084 records, Prague: 1,675 records; Germany, Dresden: 4,278 records, Munich: 5,644 records, partnership with the Staats­bibliothek zu Berlin: 1,977 records, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: 4,849 records; Hungary: 594 records; Italy: 108 records; Poland: 1,670 records; Slovakia: 573 records; Slovenia: 164 records; South Korea: 413 records; United States: 244 records.

A total of 963 records were entered into Muscat by the Zentralredaktion from older holdings.

Many working groups also revise older records. The Zentralredaktion also consistently receives additions and notifications of mistakes or composer attributions from users and these are incorporated into the records in consultation with the working groups. Some libraries have also sent the Zentralredaktion lists with links to digital objects, which can usually be automatically copied into the data after a visual inspection.

Some working groups use their own cataloging systems and send us their data, sometimes 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 at the end of 2011.

Switzerland:The Swiss working group manages and uses its own installation of Muscat. It catalogued 1,826 records during the reporting year. It is estimated that the data entered previously will be transferred to the RISM database in 2018. After that, the Swiss working group will also be working with the same dataset as the other working groups.

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 through the portal “Catalogue collectif de France” ( There are records for ca. 8,000 manuscripts dating from 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. As a test, around 420 records from the Département were transferred, which will assist with the automatic conversion of the other records. We hope that the remaining records will follow soon.

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 was reached with ICCU in 2016 to transfer this data to RISM and a contract was signed. The authority records for personal names have been sent and are being reconciled with existing Muscat data through a partially automated process. This is the first step that will allow all of the data to be imported quicker. At the same time, the working group Istituto di Bibliografia Musicale (IBIMUS) in Rome used to use the program PIKaDo and send their records directly to the Zentralredaktion in the course of its projects. When the new projects begin, which are currently on hold due to insufficient funding, the new RISM cataloging program will be implemented.

United States: A batch of 3,400 records from the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was transferred.

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 undertook work on the collections of two Roman princely houses. The sources were 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.

This year, an agreement was reached with the Universidad autonoma de Mexico. RISM will receive descriptions of the historical music collections from the Mexico City Cathedral.

RISM is also interested in further partnerships, including 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, 31,000 records were added to the RISM manuscript database and it now contains a total of ca. 982,000 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 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 277,500 records have been added to the initial inventory of ca. 700,000 records to make a total of ca. 977,500 records. As outlined above, records from series A/I and a portion of B/I were incorporated as well, so that the total number of records offered online has grown to 1,090,000. On average, the online catalog was visited by about 8,400 people per month over 19,830 visits (annually: 101,200 people with 238,000 page views).

The ability of the online catalog to limit the results to records with links to digitized items, which was introduced in the last release, grants users direct access to images of the sources and has found great popularity among RISM users. There are currently over 40,000 such links available.

A new release of the online catalog is planned for the beginning of 2018.

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

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. This service is also put into use: using the SRU interface, for example, the data end up in the local catalogs of the Bibliotheksservice-Zentrum (Library Service Centre) in Konstanz, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the 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 new cataloging program Muscat, which was released in November 2016, is an open source program. Being such, it can be adapted to the needs of other projects so that the reuse of RISM data for scholarly projects can be made considerably easier. This will be tried out using concrete projects next year.

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

Muscat, mentioned above, has spent its first year running to the full satisfaction of its users. At the same time, it is continuously being developed, leading to new, smaller releases nearly every month.

Advisory support begins by training contributors in new or existing working groups. Staff of the Zentralredaktion have visited working groups and have held workshops at conferences. Some working groups also relay their Muscat expertise through workshops in their own countries. In addition, electronic means such as YouTube tutorials and direct Skype training sessions were offered.

From an editorial standpoint, the Zentralredaktion is responsible for unifying data and editing authority files: personal names, institutions, secondary literature, and texts (including 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: the RISM homepage was used 65,240 times as the start page for visiting the RISM website, or about 5,437 visitors each month.

A RISM Facebook page appeals to another international audience and has 2,321 fans. RISM is also active on Twitter.

The brochure “RISM: An Overview” may be obtained from the Zentralredaktion. It is available in English-German as well as English-Chinese (simplified and traditional), English-Russian, English-Spanish, and now English-Portuguese.

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

Contact with our working groups and other practitioners in the field is cultivated through participation in conferences and other events. The most important of these is the annual international IAML congress, which took place in Riga this year, and the international IMS congress, this time in Tokyo.

Klaus Keil, January 2018


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)