10 Years of the RISM Online Catalog: Our Users

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The RISM Catalog was released online ten years ago this month. On Monday we shared a piece by the RISM director, Klaus Keil, about the development of the catalog from microfiche to open access catalog.

Today we’d like to share a few encouraging words from a very important group of people: our catalog users. When we asked how the catalog has helped research, these are some of the responses we received:

  • “The description of notations on the manuscript are quite helpful along with paper date, copyist and ownership details.” Dennette McDermott, USA

  • “While adding records to RISM, I have also been using it in my research of historic catalogues of the Moravian Church in Europe and America. These catalogues from the late 18th and early 19th centuries cover a core body of music, but also appear to reveal local creations and/or preferences.” Dave Blum, USA

  • “I use RISM probably on a daily basis. I have been able to identify so many concordances in sources and hence works during the last ten years. For my doctorate work, I was able to identify and reunite some manuscript part books of Louis Spohr, thanks to RISM. The feedback form is very easy to use and only helps the whole musical community to collaborate in updating the database and information. Right now, I am working on identifying several new early 18th-century harp sources, which I happened upon totally by accident quite recently. I began looking up a certain composer and then noticed that several collections of this composer also included quite a lot of anonymous music, all having the same book size, format and same origins. I am terribly excited about this research, which could only have begun with RISM. Otherwise, I would have to know the manuscript collections of several libraries across the world intimately. The RISM online cross-references truly open up new directions in research.” Maria Christina Cleary, Italy

Thank you to our users for the kind words, and thank you for using RISM! We are looking forward to continued collaboration for years to come.

Image: Fanny Hensel’s Morgengruß, a possible birthday present from the composer to her husband, Wilhelm Hensel. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - PK (D-B) MA Ms. 174. RISM ID no. 462017400. Available online.

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All news posts are by the 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.