Zentralredaktion Frankfurt

Annual Report, 2018

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; Acting Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz; 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; Dr. Balázs Mikusi, Budapest; 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); Jane Gottlieb (IAML); Prof. Dr. Markus Grassl (IMS); Prof. Dr. Beatriz Magalhães Castro (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. Telephone: +49 69 706231, fax: +49 69 706026, email:, website:

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. Assistance was provided by interns and student worker Martin Bierwisch.

The International Inventory of Musical Sources (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales – RISM), with its Zentralredaktion (Editorial Center) 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 printed music 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 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 2015. Using Muscat, national groups have the opportunity to correct entries and add new information. The ability to add new locations and links to digital reproductions is 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). In the meantime, a comprehensive template has been developed that can be used to create detailed catalog records for printed music editions in Muscat. This is being used to catalog a sampling of collections in Dresden. Currently, specifications are being drawn up to enhance the OPAC so that the when the next version of the OPAC is complete (expected in the beginning of 2019), printed editions can also be searched and displayed optimally. The SLUB project will finish by putting together a handout for libraries that want to enhance or correct records for their printed materials in RISM.

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. Also available is an (incomplete) revision by Gertraut Haberkamp for the second half of B/I. In addition, data from Early Music Online and the Catalogue of Early German Printed Music (VDM 16) were incorporated. By combining these resources, RISM intends to provide entries from both B volumes in an improved form in the online catalog. Thanks to funding once again from the cultural fund of the organization VD-Musikedition, we are deciding where it makes sense to combine which records with what resource, while making smaller changes to some records and publishing the ones that are finished. Once this is completed, the records will be merged through an automated process.

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 directory 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 RISM online catalog. Together with the IAML Publications Committee, revised versions of volumes II and III,1 were published. An agreement was made with the IAML project group Access to Music Archives (AMA) to revise the series, which was to be edited and published as an online database. Since the project group has since been disbanded, it remains to be seen whether cooperation can continue in a new form.

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 countries around the world document music manuscripts in 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. 1,035,000 entries for series A/II have been registered at the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt. In addition, database exports have been received from Italy (ICCU), France, Spain, and Austria (ÖNB).

The following groups used Muscat during the reporting year to create new records: Argentina: 128 records; Austria, Bad Ischl: 162 records, Innsbruck: 163 records, Lambach: 415 records, Salzburg: 157 records (Mozarteum), 55 records (Franciscans), Vienna/Linz: 393 records; Canada: 20 records; China, Shanghai: 20 records, Hong Kong: 15 records; Colombia: 20 records; Croatia: 5 records; Czech Republic: 1,551 records; Germany, Dresden: 5,852 records, Munich: 5,973 records, partnership with the Staats­bibliothek zu Berlin: 1,700 records, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: 3,391 records; Hungary: 1,171 records; Italy: 284 records; Lithuania: 2 records; Mexico: 209 records; Poland: 3,133 records; Slovakia: 90 records; Slovenia: 55 records; South Korea: 116 records; Spain: 40 records; Switzerland: 11 records; Taiwan: 105 records; United Kingdom: 4 records; United States: 740 records.

A total of 2,754 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 and 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 incorporated 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 (currently unavailable) was developed together with the RISM national group in Ireland. In 2011, their 55,000 records were converted and published in the RISM online catalog.

Switzerland: The Swiss working group manages and uses its own installation of Muscat. Their data model, which is in places still at variance with the Central Office’s instance of Muscat, will be made uniform and afterwards their data will be transferred to the international RISM database. The Swiss working group will then also be working with the same dataset as the other working groups.

France: A database was created of music manuscripts kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, 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. By doing so, we hope that the remaining records can follow soon.

Italy: Coordinated by the Ufficio Ricerca Fondi Musicali (URFM) in Milan, various regional groups are working on the documentation of manuscripts, printed music, 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. Reconciling ICCU’s authority records for personal names with those in RISM has resulted in having about 40,000 new names that need to be edited, which can only be done with long-term planning. The records for music manuscripts that were sent were imported into Muscat. They will be published in the OPAC in 2019. Duplicate records may arise because filtering these out is a technically complicated process. Each record will have a link to the original ICCU record, which represents the most up-to-date version of the record. Elsewhere, 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 next 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. Additional entries are being made by staff at the Foundation.

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. Funding for new projects is being sought.

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. Unfortunately, funding for the project was discontinued.

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 music manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin are being digitized and described using RISM’s software. Not only will sources be described 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.

As part of an agreement with the Universidad autonoma de Mexico, test records were sent to RISM and then analyzed. 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 only elements that are necessary for searching.

During the reporting period, 32,500 records were added to the RISM manuscript database and it now contains a total of ca. 1,014,500 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 (BSB) and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SBB).

In July 2018, a new version of the OPAC was released. It included major improvements, particularly a new interface that also works on mobile devices. The databases of people, institutions, and literature have also been incorporated into the search. A new landing page aims to lead users to additional information more quickly.

Currently (October 2018) the entire data pool in the OPAC consists of 1,332,324 records. This includes the authority files, which have 11,593 records from the authority file for personal names, 70,593 for institutions, and 34,504 records for secondary literature. A total of 1,115,800 records remain for descriptions of musical sources, which can be further differentiated into 992,998 records for manuscript descriptions and 172,328 printed editions. The initial inventory of ca. 700,000 records for manuscripts has thus increased by ca. 293,000. Added to this are the printed editions that were not included at the beginning.

The number of links to digital objects, a popular feature, has increased to over 54,372.

On average, the online catalog was visited by about 8,683 people per month over 22,317 visits (annually: 104,200 people with 261,800 visits and 20.4 million page views).

The development of the OPAC is led by the BSB in Munich as part of funding received from the FID program of the DFG using the proprietary software TouchPoint. As part of this funding, an additional release is planned for the beginning of 2019 for which a development with emphasis on the improved display of printed music in the OPAC is underway. In 2018, successful conversations took place with the BSB Munich and the SBB Berlin about possibilities for consolidation and development within this partnership.

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 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, such as 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 software 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 runs to the full satisfaction of its users. As a matter of course, it is continuously being developed, leading to new, smaller releases nearly every month. Muscat is developed and maintained through a partnership between the RISM Zentralredaktion and RISM Switzerland, whose contribution to Muscat is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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. (After the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, log files were deleted so no statistics are possible.)

A RISM Facebook page appeals to another international audience and has 2,849 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, English-Russian, English-Spanish, and English-Portuguese.

On Wikipedia, articles are available in Catalan, 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 Leipzig this year. In addition to the usual RISM events, four well-attended Muscat workshops were offered.

February 2019

Klaus Keil


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)