Zentralredaktion Frankfurt

Annual Report, 2019

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: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz (starting 15 November); Vice President: Prof. Dr. Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl, Salzburg; Secretary: Dr. Laurent Pugin, Bern; Treasurer: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz (until 15 November) - Jane Gottlieb, New York (starting 15 November); co-opted members of the board: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad, Würzburg; Dr. Balázs Mikusi, Budapest (until 15 November); 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); Jane Gottlieb (IAML, until 15 November); Prof. Dr. Markus Grassl (IMS); Prof. Dr. Beatriz Magalhães Castro (IAML); Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt (IMS); Dr. Barbara Wiermann (IAML); Prof. Dr. Christiane Wiesenfeldt (IMS). Director of the Zentralredaktion: Klaus Keil, Frankfurt.

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz.

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 as well as student workers Martin Bierwisch, Kristina Krämer, and Johanna Thöne.

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 by a single composer 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 imported into the cataloging program Muscat (see below). They have been available in the RISM online catalog since July 2015. Some national groups take advantage of the opportunity to correct and enhance entries, especially by adding new locations and links to digital reproductions. In addition, 2,091 new printed music editions were added (listed in the working group statistics below) as were ca. 11,000 records for pieces in collections. In this way, the data increasingly diverge from the book publication.

A project that was carried out in cooperation with the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (SLUB) in Dresden, which had the goal of revising the procedure for editing printed music in RISM, is nearly finished. After introducing new templates for the detailed description of printed editions in Muscat, the new specifications for the RISM online catalog have now been implemented (see below). The handout for libraries is still pending.

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).

Three special volumes entitled Das Tenorlied were published between 1979 and 1986.

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 a partial 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. The resources were combined through a semiautomated procedure. Thanks to further funding from the cultural fund of the organization VD-Musikedition, revision of the entire B/I volume, anthologies to 1700, should be completed by the end of 2020.

Series C: Five volumes have appeared to date, the last of which were published together with the IAML Publications Committee as revised versions of volumes II and III,1. Apart from this, the RISM Zentralredaktion issued the special volume RISM Bibliothekssigel-Gesamtverzeichnis (RISM Library Sigla, Complete Index), which has since been made available through RISM’s website as a searchable database of the library sigla. The database also contains contact information such as mailing address, website link, and email address. By clicking on the siglum entry, the institution’s holdings in the RISM online catalog can be directly accessed. IAML established a successor to the project group Access to Music Archives (AMA) in July 2019 to revise Series C.

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. 1,232,000 entries have been registered at the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt. In addition, database exports will be added from France, Spain, Austria (ÖNB), and smaller projects.

The following groups used Muscat during the reporting year to create new records for manuscripts (and prints): Argentina: 219 records (+ 60 printed editions); Austria, Innsbruck: 88 records (+ 43 prints), Lambach: 159 records (+ 78 prints), Salzburg: 40 records (+ 3 prints) (Mozarteum), Vienna/Linz: 428 records (+ 630 prints); Belgium: 1 record; China, Shanghai: 28 records, Hong Kong: 12 records; Colombia: 11 records; Croatia: 495 records (+ 2 prints); Czech Republic: 479 records (+ 142 prints); Germany, Dresden: 3,452 records (+ 52 prints), Munich: 8,692 records (+ 50 prints), partnership with the Staats­bibliothek zu Berlin: 1,372 records (+ 1 print), Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: 3,665 records; Italy: 9 records; Lithuania: 6 records; Mexico: 237 records; Poland: 3,062 records (+ 339 prints); Slovakia: 124 records (+ 127 prints); Slovenia: 99 records; South Korea: 2 records (+ 3 prints); Spain: 817 records (+ 1 print); Sweden: 1 record; Switzerland: 0 records (9 prints); Ukraine: 28 records; United States: 1,129 records (+ 125 prints).

A total of 45 records (+405 prints) were entered 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 be copied into the data, usually automatically, 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 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, is currently being unified and the data that have been entered so far will be transferred to the RISM database by the beginning of 2020. 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 (composers 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 to gain some experience for an automatic conversion. The records are on a test version of Muscat and will be published 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 (including some duplicates) that need to be edited, which can only be done with long-term planning. The records for music manuscripts that were sent, numbering 271,669, were imported into Muscat. The RISM database already had ca. 89,000 records from Italy, however. One task will be to identify the duplicates and exclude them from publication. As a rough estimate, around 45,000 records might be duplicates. As an initial step, the first ca. 1,000 records were edited by hand and published in the online catalog. Experience gained from this process with speed up the editing process for the rest of the records. Each record has 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 RISM’s cataloging program Muscat 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 in 2018. Additional entries are being created in Muscat by Foundation staff.

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 ended.

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.

The DFG KoFIM project (Kompetenzzentrum Forschung und Information Musik/Center of Excellence for Research and Information in Music) has ended, in which the collection of autograph music manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin was digitized and described using RISM’s software. Not only were sources described in the RISM online catalog, but links to their digitized surrogates were 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.

The National Library of Portugal also sent test records that were analyzed.

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 include links to the original databases and only those elements that are necessary for searching.

During the reporting period, 197,000 records were added to the RISM manuscript database and it now contains a total of ca. 1,210,000 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 (BSB) and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

At the beginning of September, a new version of the online catalog could once again be released. This time, the focus was on improving the display of and search for printed music editions in accordance with the new templates that were developed for Muscat. These templates contained not only expanded fields for a complete description of the editions, but also records for individual pieces within anthologies. These are now displayed correctly. In addition, the display for the holding institutions was improved and links to digitized copies were placed next to their holding institutions.

Currently (October) the entire data pool in the catalog consists of 1,360,988 records. This includes the authority files, which contain 137,629 authority records for personal names, 66,214 for institutions (including corrections), and 34,504 for secondary literature. A total of 1,157,145 records remain for descriptions of musical sources, which can be further differentiated into 973,773 records for manuscript descriptions and 182,530 for printed editions. The initial inventory of ca. 700,000 records for manuscripts has thus increased by ca. 273,000. Added to this are the printed editions that were not included in 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 8,333 people per month over 23,092 visits (annually: 100,000 people with 277,100 visits and 17.4 million page views).

The development of the catalog is led by the BSB in Munich as part of funding received from the FID (Fachinformationsdienst) program of the DFG using the proprietary software TouchPoint.

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 cataloging software Muscat (see, 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.

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.

The cataloging program 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. Currently, version 5.2.1 is available. 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, YouTube tutorials and direct Skype training sessions are offered.

From an editorial standpoint, the Zentralredaktion is responsible for unifying data and editing authority files for 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 3,508 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 Kraków this year. In addition to the usual RISM events, a well-attended, two-part Muscat workshop was offered.

Together with the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, the Zentralredaktion organized a conference from 9 to 11 May entitled “Works, Work Titles, Work Authorities: Perspectives on Introducing a Work Level in RISM.” The conference took place at the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz. The full program, abstracts, and some recordings of the papers can be found on the RISM website.

February 2020

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)