My Internship at RISM

Miquela Döppenschmitt

Thursday, December 3, 2020

In October 2020 the RISM Central Office offered a group internship for the first time. Over the course of the year, we received several applications from students who were interested in an internship. We adapted to the Corona situation and offered four people internships at once. Miquela Döppenschmitt is the first to share her experiences.

Every student of musicology at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main must complete an internship of ca. 150 hours in the Rhein-Main region. By completing an internship, we students acquire skills in applying what we study to a professional context, and describe these in a report. In addition, we attend a career-oriented seminar in which teachers tell us about the work skills used in their day-to-day jobs as musicologists.

I found myself then looking for an internship and first went to the bulletin board at the Musicology Institute. I also collected brochures in the library. As I was looking, RISM immediately caught my eye. The office of the RISM Zentralredaktion is located in a lecture hall building, and every time I left the building after my harmony course, I passed a display case and could see the letters “RISM.” In the course of my studies I learned what this abbreviation stood for.

What tasks had to be completed by the intern?
At the beginning of the internship, we learned how to use the internal cataloging program Muscat. Each one of us received a library catalog, which we used throughout to add copies to records for printed music editions. We also added numbers from thematic catalogs to works in RISM. Furthermore, we learned how to create music incipits and add them to records. We used digitized music to do this, such as the opera Der Schatzgräber by Franz Anton Dimmler (RISM ID no. 450022049).

How was my experience at RISM?

I had four exciting weeks full of new experiences and impressions. I was able to experience working in a real office and editorial department. I enjoyed the flow of the work and the working hours. The Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt is very well organized. There are individual contact people for various areas of RISM, such as the institutions. Every member of staff introduced themselves to us. We learned a lot in a short amount of time and could take a peek behind the scenes of an “online library” like RISM. For the future I now have an additional database on my list that I can use in my work as well as four weeks that I will look back on with pleasure.

Image: Franz Anton Dimmler (1753-1827), Der Schatzgräber. Operette in drei Aufzügen. Copy from D-WINtj 11, RISM ID no. 450022049.


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