Zentralredaktion Frankfurt

Annual Report, 2012

Foundation: Internationales Quellenlexikon der Musik e.V. Kassel. Honorary President: Dr. Harald Heckmann, Ruppertshain; President: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Wolff, Cambridge/Leipzig; Vice President: Catherine Massip, Paris; Secretary: Dr. Wolf-Dieter Seiffert, Munich; Treasurer: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann, Mainz; co-opted members of the board: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad, Würzburg; Prof. Dr. John H. Roberts, Berkeley.

Commission Mixte (Delegates from AIBM and SIM): Chris Banks (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Sergio Durante (SIM), Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (AIBM); Dr. John B. Howard (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad (SIM); Prof. Dr. Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl (SIM), Catherine Massip (AIBM); Dr. habil. Christian Meyer (SIM); Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Petrobelli † (SIM); Prof. Dr. John H. Roberts (AIBM); Prof. Dr. Jürg Stenzl (SIM, until July 2012); Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Wolff (SIM).

Director of the Zentralredaktion: Klaus Keil, Frankfurt.

Address: Internationales Quellenlexikon der Musik (RISM), Zentralredaktion an der Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg, Sophienstr. 26, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, tel.: +49 69 706231, fax: +49 69 706026, e-mail:, internet:

Publishers: Series A/I, volume VIII,1 and 2 of series B as well as series C: Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel; series A/II, Internet database: EBSCO Publishing, Inc., Birmingham, AL, USA; series B (with the exception of volume VIII, parts 1 and 2): G. Henle Verlag, Munich.

Personnel: Dr. Martina Falletta, Stephan Hirsch, Klaus Keil, Guido Kraus, Alexander Marxen, Jennifer Ward, Isabella Wiedemer-Höll.

The International Inventory of Musical Sources (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales – RISM), with the Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt, is under the patronage of the Association Internationale des Bibliothèques, Archives et Centres de Documentation Musicaux (AIBM) as well as the Société Internationale de Musicologie (SIM) and is responsible for documenting printed and manuscript transmissions of music worldwide. Series A/I indexes individual prints published 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 volumes of series A/I. Since series A/II is published electronically as a database, far more access points can be offered. Series B is designed to cover specific categories of repertory, e.g. 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 and four supplementary volumes, 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 volumes 1 through 9 and 11 through 14.
Series B: Thirty-one volumes in this series have been published so far, most recently RISM B/XIII,1: Hymnologica Slavica. Volume I, Hymnologica Bohemica, Slovaca, Polonica, Sorabica. Notendrucke des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts. Edited by Karol Hławiczka, Jan Kouba, Leon Witkowski, Jan Raupp, Marie Skalická. Revised and supplemented by Teresa Krukowski and Gerhard Schuhmacher (Henle Verlag: Munich, 2012).
For volume B/I, anthologies, Howard Mayer Brown had prepared a revision of the entries for sources published between 1500 and 1550. This revision will not appear in book form but will be incorporated into the online catalog.
Three special volumes entitled Das Tenorlied were published between 1979 and 1986.
Series C: Five volumes have appeared to date, as well as a special volume issued by the RISM Zentralredaktion in 1999, RISM Bibliothekssigel-Gesamtverzeichnis (RISM Library Sigla, Complete Index). Since that time, the index of sigla has been made available through RISM’s website as a searchable database, which also contains contact information such as mailing address, website link, and e-mail address. From the siglum entry, one can directly access the holdings of a library as indexed in the online catalog. In collaboration with the AIBM Publications Committee it has been possible to issue revised versions of volumes II and III,1. These replace the existing volumes II and III, with the exception of the section containing Italian sigla. These are intended for volume III,2, which is in preparation.
Series A/II: This series is a complete documentation of manuscripts containing polyphonic music written after 1600. Series A/II is the most comprehensive endeavor and the main focus of the whole of RISM’s work at present. Colleagues from more than 30 national groups around the world document music manuscripts on location in libraries and archives. The national working groups use computers to enter their descriptions and the majority of them connect directly to the RISM server through the internet. To facilitate this, the cataloging program Kallisto is available from the Zentralredaktion free of charge. The transmission of digital 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. 850,000 entries have been registered at the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt.

The following groups created records using Kallisto in 2012: Austria, Innsbruck: 687 records, Lambach: 109 records, Linz: 589 records, Salzburg: 441 records + 31 records (Mozarteum), Vorarlberg: 18 records, Vienna (Akademie der Wissenschaften): 834 records, Schlägl: 157 records; Belgium: 15 records; Canada: 5 records; Czech Republic, Bruno: 332 records, Prague: 2,046 records; Germany, Dresden: 4,381 records, Munich: 10,767 records, partnership with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: 2,657 records; Italy, Rome (DHI): 50 records; Lithuania: 11 records; Mexico: 386 records; Poland, Warsaw: 231 records, Wrocław: 40 records; Slovakia: 22 records; Slovenia: 249 records; South Korea: 233 records; Venezuela: 1 record.

Catalog records on paper title cards were sent from Russia (251), in addition to 511 records entered into Kallisto by the Zentralredaktion from older holdings.

Some working groups use their own cataloging systems and send 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 office in Ireland. The database is freely available online ( In the first half of 2011, 55,000 records were converted and transferred to the RISM database. The data were published in the RISM online catalog in December 2011.

Switzerland: The Swiss working group did not participate in the changeover to Kallisto. Instead, they use a program that employs the same data model of the British working group. A data transfer is planned for the future. It will take place after the British working group’s data have been successfully transferred, and the developments made for that transfer will also aid that of the Swiss data.

France: At the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, a database of music manuscripts kept there was created, from which a book catalog (of composers letters 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 in the portal “Catalogue collectif de France”. There are records for 8,000 manuscripts before 1820 (composers A–H) and 15,600 prints before 1800 from the Département de la musique, and ca. 34,000 records from the Patrimoine. An exchange of data has been agreed upon and sample titles were tested.

Italy: Under the coordination of the Ufficio Ricerca Fondi Musicali (URFM) in Milan, various regional groups are working on the documentation of manuscripts, prints and other sources. Records are entered into the national SBN Musica database. RISM is very interested in obtaining this data, but no agreement has been reached so far. At the same time, the working group Istituto di Bibliografia Musicale (IBIMUS) in Rome has been using the program PIKaDo and delivers their records directly to the Zentralredaktion in the course of their projects. Kallisto will be implemented beginning with the next projects.

Furthermore, there are collaborations with individual institutes:

Within the framework of a project sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Historical Institute in Rome is undertaking work on the collections of two Roman princely houses. The sources are being digitized and described using Kallisto in accordance with RISM standards.

An agreement was made with the Richard Strauss Quellenverzeichnis to have their compiled data also appear in the RISM online catalog.

As part of the KoFIM project (Kompetenzzentrum Forschung und Information Musik/Center of Excellence for Research and Information in Music), the collection of autograph manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin are being digitized and described using RISM’s software. Not only will the source be recorded in the RISM online catalog, but a link to its digitized counterpart will be added as well.

During the year covered by this report, it was possible to expand the content of the RISM manuscript database by an additional 24,900 entries and it now contains a total of ca. 825,000 titles.

The CD-ROM of series A/II Music Manuscripts after 1600 was discontinued with the 16th edition (the 14th CD-ROM). It comprised a total of 614,000 titles, including a total of around 50,000 additional entries, as well as three special files – one with composers (31,000 entries), library sigla (6,870 entries) and an index of the literature consulted for describing sources (4,000 entries).

This is the material which EBSCO Publishing Inc. (successor to NISC) is still currently offering as an Internet database.

Since July 2010, RISM has made its online catalog freely available on the Internet. The development of the software for searching was made possible through collaboration between RISM and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The initial inventory of ca. 700,000 records has since been expanded by ca. 130,000. On average, the online catalog was visited by about 5,800 people per month in 14,000 visits. The further development of the search functions will be carried out by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 2013 and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The online catalog, which is available on the Internet free of charge, has motivated more and more people and institutions to contribute to the project. In particular, there is a growing interest among individual institutions to see their holdings indexed in the RISM online catalog. The Zentralredaktion also increasingly receives suggestions and corrections from users.

The new RISM website, developed with the cooperation of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur (Digitale Akademie) in Mainz, was expanded with the addition of communication functions. The new website is constantly updated by the Zentralredaktion and the working groups and now enjoys rising popularity, with more than 3,500 visits per month.

The brochure RISM: An Overview may be obtained from the Zentralredaktion. It is available in an English-German version as well as English-Russian.

To mark its 60th anniversary, RISM hosted a conference together with the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz and the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. It took place from 4-6 June 2012 and was entitled “Music Documentation in Libraries, Scholarship and Practice.” In addition to reports from national country groups about their holdings that are partly still being processed and partly already cataloged in databases, presentations about content-based and technical analysis of data were on the program. Participants were also given a glimpse of complementary projects, such as the Palestrina Catalog of Works, the MassDataBase, and the Bernstein watermarks portal. 108 participants from 22 countries took part in the conference, including such far-away places as Mexico, Brazil, and South Korea. Abstracts and papers are available on the RISM website.

The RISM Board of Directors has decided to have a successor program to Kallisto developed. This has become necessary because the changing needs required of the program can no longer be resolved in a timely fashion. The new Kallisto should first and foremost be platform independent and based on an open-source program.

In light of the fact that some digitization projects, such as the Shrank II Project at the Sächsischen Landes- und Universitätsbibliothek in Dresden, use data from the online catalog as metadata, the Zentralredaktion is currently discussing with the working groups as to whether the data can be made available as linked open data. This would significantly facilitate use of the data in academic and library environments.

Klaus Keil, January 2013


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)