RISM's Series B/II is Picking up Speed

Thursday, July 27, 2023

RISM’s series B (special studies on various topics) is still underrepresented in our database. Luckily this is has been changing recently. Series B/II especially is picking up speed.

While printed editions from series B/I, Recueils imprimés, XVIe-XVIIe siècles (printed anthologies of the 16th and 17th centuries) and A/I, Einzeldrucke vor 1800 (editions to 1800 with works by one composer) could be imported into the main RISM database from older programs or using extensive Word documents, B/II for 18th-century anthologies, Recueils imprimés, XVIIIe siècle (Munich: Henle, 1964), was not systematically imported into our cataloging program, Muscat. B/II is arranged alphabetically by title and lacks clear identifying numbers. It can only be cited using a page number.

Some RISM contributors have been creating new records for editions that are indexed in B/II as part of their cataloging work, such as Etwas für Gesang und Klavier zum Neuen Jahr 1785 (RISM ID no. 1001222895; RISM Catalog | RISM Online). One thing that is important to note is that many prints were listed in more than one of the RISM series. There are many duplicates in A/I and B/II. In A/I, which was published later, you can frequently find references to the anthologies in B/I or B/II. We have found ca. 700 duplicates this way and are in the process of merging the duplicate records.

This shows how urgent it is to revise records from our printed volumes. Who likes looking things up in four different books?

Here are some examples.

The pasticcio La villanella rapita (RISM ID no. 990048192; RISM Catalog | RISM Online) is in A/I three times, once for each composer: B 2560/BB 2560 (Bianchi, Francesco), M 5288/MM 5288 (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus), and P 591/PP 591 (Paisiello, Giovanni). The edition is also found in series B/II on p. 397 under title of the print.

The Dialogo della musica first appeared in a RISM bibliography in 1960 as B/I 1544|22, was taken up in 1971 as a treatise in the first volume of B/VI (p. 272), and was finally listed under D 3419 as a single-composer Antonio Francesco Doni print in 1972’s A/I, volume 2 (p. 434). Each catalog had different information about the Dialogo della muscia. The database allows everything to be clearly laid out in a single record: RISM ID no. 993104404 (RISM Catalog | RISM Online). This print is also distinctive for having a different dedicatee for each partbook.

The journal Musikaliskt Tidsfördrif takes up only one page in B/II. It is difficult to tell which library holds what volume. The RISM database now has a separate record for each year and the holdings information clearly states which library owns the volume and what issues are preserved or missing, for example as in the volume from 1805 (RISM ID no. 1001222464; RISM Catalog | RISM Online).

Image: La villanella rapita (Paris, ca. 1790), from the Biblioteca National de España (E-Mn M/463, RISM ID no. 990048192). Available online (CC-BY 4.0).

Share Tweet Email

Category: New at RISM

Browse the news archive by category below or use the search box above.


Top posts

- Joseph Bologne’s “L’Amant Anonyme”
- The Public Domain in 2023
- Scott Joplin and the St. Louis World’s Fair
- The Vienna State Opera in 1955
- Elizaveta, Elisabeth, and Elizabeth

Featured posts

- A Word about RISM
- Chopin Heritage in Open Access
- Sarah Levy
- Discovering Vivaldi Sources
- Finding Unica in RISM

Send us your news

Share your news with RISM and reach an international community of scholars, musicians, librarians, and archivists. Find out more here.


All news posts are by RISM Editorial Center staff unless otherwise noted. Reuse of RISM’s own texts is permitted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. In all other cases, please contact the individual author.