Welcome, Muscat!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beginning today, Muscat is available to RISM contributors as a central cataloging program for musical sources. Muscat includes sources from the various RISM series A/I, A/II, and B/I, which are in one database for the first time after having previously been managed in separate places. The new Muscat program contains in total 1,076,244 musical sources, 108,563 authority records for personal names, 73,527 institutions, and 32,983 records for secondary literature.

The initial requirements of Muscat were clearly exceeded: develop a multilingual, web-based program on the basis of free, open-source software that, using MARC21, has an internationally widespread and standardized data model at its core. Additional features include:

● Built-in version control to identify changes

● Ability to leave comments for sources and authority files

● Intuitive management of digital objects

● Ability to create folders to organize your work

● Link to VIAF to import personal name authority files

● Custom-built module to display incipits

● Expanded ability to add guidelines in different languages

● Integrated full online catalog search

The data migration consisted of integrating the datasets of the different RISM series, implementing numerous improvements, and correcting errors (such as retroactive linking to authority files and converting various diacritics and substitute characters).

For the first time, RISM has full control over a cataloging program that can be further developed and improved. This allows us to make changes, improvements, and fix errors on a regular basis and as we see fit.

At the same time, the launch of Muscat is an opportunity for people – whether at universities, libraries, archives, or interested individuals – to directly contribute to RISM. If your library has holdings in RISM that need to be updated, if you are working on sources related to a specific composer, if you are in a position to add sources to RISM, please let us know.

To our current contributors, national groups, partners, and future colleagues: We look forward to working with you!

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