The New Online Directory of RISM Library Sigla

Thursday, June 17, 2021

With the launch of the new RISM website last December, we took the opportunity to offer a new and improved Online Directory of RISM Library Sigla. The new directory is updated continuously and is the most complete and up-to-date source of RISM sigla. Currently, there are 8,500 institutions in the sigla database.

Most of our readers will be familiar with RISM’s library sigla, which are abbreviations that refer to an institution in a concise way. (Though we say “library,” we in fact mean any kind of institution, including private collections.) RISM sigla are found throughout the musicological and music library literature, as well as in major reference sources such as Oxford Music Online (Grove) and MGG Online.

RISM endeavors to document the existence of every institution worldwide that holds materials related to music research, and these institutions are assigned a siglum by us. We do not require sources to be in the RISM catalog in order for a siglum to be created, and the materials do not necessarily have to be old.

The default search in the directory searches all fields, or you can target your search by name, library siglum, city, or country. The siglum entries include complete contact information for the institution, including a link to the institution’s website.

The presence of a star in the entry indicates that sources from that institution can be found in the RISM Catalog. Using RISM’s sigla in the RISM Catalog provides the most accurate way of searching the institution’s holdings.

A new tutorial is available that demonstrates searching the sigla directory:

Please contact us if you need assistance, to request a new siglum, or to inform us of any incorrect information:

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