2019 Upgrade of the RISM Catalog

Monday, September 9, 2019

RISM and the Bavarian State Library (BSB, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) announce a major upgrade of the RISM online catalog at https://opac.rism.info/.

One year ago, the RISM Catalog interface was redesigned and many improvements were added. Today’s release comes one year after that major upgrade. The main focus of development was on the display of music printed editions. Starting today, RISM’s nearly 180,000 records for printed editions have a more straightforward structure and clearly differentiate between the printed item as a published unit and the copy-specific information unique to exemplars held around the world.

For example, a printed edition by Joseph Haydn, Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze (Leipzig, 1801) is held by well over 70 libraries (see image; RISM ID no. 990026684). All core information about the printed edition—including composer, title, publication information, instrumentation—is included in the main part of the record. Information that is true only for a certain copy is included next to the name of the holding library, such as shelfmarks, provenance notes, stamps, and links to digitized copies. Information about a library’s copy can be seen by clicking on the library name to expand or collapse the information block.

In the case of the Haydn print, you will find out, for example, that a copy in Dresden still has its original orange Breitkopf binding, that yet another Dresden copy is made of paper with lily watermarks, and that a copy in Leipzig is from the historical Musikbibliothek Peters.

Our international contributors are constantly improving the level of detail in the RISM records for printed music. The opera Cora by Johann Gottlieb Naumann (RISM ID no. 990046739) shows the potential for detail, with dozens of incipits, role names, and 76 known copies (some libraries with multiple copies).

More improvements are planned over the next few months and we will keep you informed of the developments.

Image: Joseph Haydn, Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze (Leipzig, 1801), RISM ID no. 990026684. Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (SLUB), D-Dl Mus.3356.D.506. Available online.

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