IAML Conference 2011: RISM Presentations

The following presentationsby colleagues from various RISM working groups and RISM Zentralredaktion will be held at the IAML Conference in Dublin on Wednesday, July 27, from 9:00-10:30 and Thursday, July 28, from 11:00-12:30. Below are the abstracts in advance:

Klaus Keil (RISM Zentralredaktion)

Using RISM for Reference Services and Instruction in Libraries

RISM is an important research tool for librarians and library patrons. Librarians and prospective librarians should know or be familiarized with RISM’s projects, its strengths, and its limitations. In this talk, the most important objectives will be addressed and will therefore serve as a guide for instructors. The key points are:

  1. The charge of the organization

  2. Overview of the RISM projects

  3. Contents of the books and their future

  4. Working with the online catalog

  5. Potential of the RISM website

Kerry Houston (RISM Ireland)

The new beginning of the RISM Ireland working group

RISM dealt with Ireland (primarily Dublin) under its UK committee for many years but following the rapid growth in musicology in Ireland and the forming of the Society for Musicology in Ireland an Irish working group was set up. This group has undertaken an initial scoping exercise and identified a large number of repositories which did not have RISM sigla. This matter has been addressed and sigla agreed with RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt. The group has extended the remit for Ireland to cover nineteenth-century material due to the strong traditional heritage in the country from that era. With assistance of RISM CH and RISM UK, the group has recently started developing a dedicated Irish RISM website supported by the RISM CH database of printed materials and scores. The report to be presented at the conference will discuss these developments and also outline details of two current RISM related projects: Triona O’Hanlon, “Mercer’s Hospital Part-Books and Music in Eighteenth Century Dublin” and Karol Mullaney-Dignam, “Music in the Irish Country House.”

Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider (RISM Tyrol-South Tyrol & OFM Austria)

RISM Tyrol-South Tyrol & OFM Austria: Current Summary and Visions for the Future

Overview of recent work in Tyrol, South Tyrol and the Franciscan province of Austria: results of the latest research with the help of documenting sources for RISM, relevant for international music research; looking ahead to the coming years and determining which sources will be described next.

Zuzana Petrášková (RISM Czech Republic)

Processing and Accessing Musical Sources in the Czech Republic in the Past and Today

Registering and documenting an immense wealth of musical sources housed by institutions in the Czech Republic has been the task of the Union Music Catalogue since 1965. The work continues today in the Music Department of the National Library.

The catalogue represents a rich information base for dealing with primary musical sources dating from the second half of 18th century until the 20th century.

The following numbers can serve as an illustration of the work’s extent: 400,000 music sources from 180 collections and other provenances are registered by means of careful catalogue description, whereby the total number of catalogue entries exceeds 1,100,000.

Processing was started through a systematic exploration of historical collections at the end of the 1960s. The basic function of the catalogue is to serve those institutions which preserve old music sources and to communicate certain information about the content of these documents. In many cases it also serves the function of enabling new findings for music researchers.

The largest collections of historical music sources in the Czech Republic are deposited in two museums: the Czech Museum of Music at the National Museum and the Moravian Regional Museum. Other large collections of sources are administered by the National Library, the Moravian Regional Library, the archives of the Prague Conservatory, the Silesian Regional Museum, the Schwarzenberg Collection in Český Krumlov, the Music Collection in Kroměříž, the archives at Prague Castle, and the archives of churches and other institutions.

The arrival and implementation of computerized cataloguing has also brought new forms of processing music documents, formerly traditionally described in the Union Music Catalogue. Computer-based cataloguing is also employed in cooperation with the International Inventory of Musical Sources (RISM), which enables sending catalogue records to the online database, accessible worldwide, thereby also aiding researchers of music sources. This cooperation is supported by the ongoing project “Database Construction Involving Manuscripts and Printed Music Materials Deposited in Collections of Czech and Moravian Lands,” which is supported and financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Eva Neumayr (RISM Salzburg Working Group)

Cataloguing Watermarks: New Perspectives for Dating and Tracking Manuscripts

In the Archive of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, a rather complete collection of sacred music of the Salzburg Cathedral from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century has survived.

While cataloguing the manuscripts for the RISM database, the watermarks in this collection were routinely copied and filed. A large part of the watermarks has now been photographed and incorporated into a database, as was all the information about dating, papermakers and paper mills that could be deduced from the collection via dated manuscripts, copyists, etc. Since some of the paper used in Salzburg was also used by W. A. Mozart, the literature on his works concerning watermarks had to be included as well. By combining all of this information, it has been possible to date and track Salzburg manuscripts much more accurately than before.

As the paper used in Salzburg was also used for manuscripts in other archives, a catalogue of the Salzburg watermarks may serve musicologists and researchers as well as archivists in establishing provenance and dating of a musical manuscript.


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)