New Version of the RISM Online Catalog

Monday, July 16, 2018

RISM and the Bavarian State Library (BSB, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) announce the release of a new version of the RISM online catalog at This release represents the first phase of a development project that will include additional new features in the upcoming months.

Today’s release is therefore an initial step that will lead to a complete renewal of the RISM online catalog. Many ideas and suggestions from our users were included, but not all have been integrated yet. Over the course of the next development phases, these will be incorporated and further improvements will be made, such as displaying the records for printed editions (A/I, B/I, and B/II) in a more sophisticated way.

New features include:

  • A new look: The catalog has fresh colors and a simplified, more welcoming layout.
  • A mobile-friendly format: You can comfortably access RISM on your mobile phones and tablets.
  • New languages for the search interface: French, Italian, and Spanish
  • New incipit search features:
  • The on-screen piano keyboard is now five octaves
  • Notes can be entered through the piano keyboard or using shortcut keys through your computer keyboard
  • The note sounds when you press a key on the piano keyboard
  • The query appears on an editable musical staff
  • You can search any part of the incipit rather than just the beginning
  • The incipit search can also find similar sequences of intervals
  • Incipits are rendered using the Verovio library
  • Standardized terms: RISM’s institutions, people, and secondary literature are now searchable in the catalog. While in the previous catalog a search for Bach resulted in only musical sources for the Bachs, today you will find, in addition, institutions with Bach in the name, composers named Bach, and our secondary literature that treat Bach. These appear at the end of the results and can be filtered using the facets in the page of results (left-hand side).
  • Feedback: A small button appears at the bottom of each record, next to the RISM number, which you can use to contact the RISM Central Office if you notice a mistake, have a suggestion, or wish to call our attention to the record.

The new catalog will be demonstrated during the IAML congress by Klaus Keil (RISM Zentralredaktion) and Jürgen Diet (BSB) in Leipzig on Friday, 27 July, 11.00–12.30, during the RISM open session.

Detailed guidance on these new features will soon appear on the catalog’s help page and the RISM website.

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