Loeb Music Library

U.S. RISM Office


About the U.S. RISM Office

RISM—the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (International Inventory of Musical Sources)—represents a worldwide effort to identify and describe sources of music and writings about music from the earliest times through ca. 1850. RISM activities in the United States are overseen and sponsored by the Joint Committee on RISM of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Music Library Association (MLA).

Since 1985 the U.S. RISM Office has been located in the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. Its charge is to collect information U.S. libraries about music manuscripts, printed music, and libretti of the period ca. 1580 to 1825. It serves as the principal information center for queries regarding RISM data from the United States.

Tel: 617-496-3359
Fax: 617-496-4636

For further information, please e-mail Dr. Sarah Adams, Director, U.S. RISM Office.

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About RISM

RISM was founded in 1952 by the International Musicological Society (IMS) and the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) to update the two major existing finding tools for musical sources: Robert Eitner's Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen-Lexicon der Musik und Musikgelehrten (Leipzig, 1898-1904; rpt., rev., Graz 1959-60) and his Bibliographie der Musik-Sammelwerke des XVI. und XVII. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1877; rpt., Hildesheim, 1963). The project was conceived of in two corresponding series:

  • Series A, a listing of sources by individual composer, to be divided into two series: A/I for music imprints (Einzeldrucke vor 1800) and A/II for music manuscripts after 1600
  • Series B, catalogs of systematically arranged repertories of music and writings about music

RISM's Publications cover printed and manuscript music, works of music theory, and libretti. Series A/I was largely completed in 1981 in nine volumes; four supplementary volumes have been added since. The original two volumes of Series B, covering pre-19th century printed anthologies, were published in the 1960s as RISM Series B/I and B/II. They have been joined by other systematic bibliographies representing diverse repertories. RISM Series A/II, Music Manuscripts, 1600 to 1800, the largest project to date, has been underway internationally for more than two decades. Over 400,000 catalog records have been created and added to the database so far. The volumes of an additional series, Series C, are directories of music research libraries. Thirty-two countries have contributed or are contributing information about their national music collections to RISM.

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About the RISM Zentralredaktion

The RISM Zentralredaktion (Central Editorial Office) coordinates the contributions of the various RISM national working groups to the projects RISM Series A/I and Series A/II. It also prepares information for both series for publication and helps coordinate the publications of RISM Series B and C. The Zentralredaktion can provide information on manuscript sources in all countries participating in the RISM Series A/II music manuscript inventory, on addenda to published RISM bibliographies, and on questions concerning the RISM organization in general.

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Access to RISM databases

Series A/II Music manuscripts after 1600

  • Available at http://opac.rism.info, an open access site developed collaboratively by the RISM Central Editorial Office, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Updated regularly.
  • Available in CD-ROM edition published by K.G. Saur Verlag. 14th edition in 2006.

RISM U.S. Libretto Database

From 1983-1992 a pilot project was undertaken at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA, USA) to catalog the 11,380 libretti in the Albert Schatz Collection at the Library of Congress. Access to cataloging data for this collection is available for free through:

  • OCLC
  • VIRGO, the University of Virginia OPAC (http://virgo.lib.virginia.edu)
    When prompted by the login screen click on "Guest" for access to the catalog.

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Publications

RISM's publications are issued in three series:

Series A: Inventory by composer of musical sources 1600-1800
Series B: Bibliographies of materials organized by topic
Series C: Directories of Music Research Libraries
Sonderband: RISM-Bibliothekssigel Gesamtverzeichnis


Series A: Inventory by composer of musical sources 

  • A/I: Einzeldrucke vor 1800, 9 vols. A-Z (Kassel, 1971-1981); 4 vols of Addenda and Corrigenda (Kassel, 1986-99); Index of Publishers, Printers, and Engravers and Index of Places to volumes 1-9 and 11-14 (Kassel, 2003). Note: A CD-ROM edition of the A/I Series is in preparation.
  • A/II: Musikhandschriften 1600-1800. Available at http://opac.rism.info, an open access site developed collaboratively by the RISM Central Editorial Office, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; updated regularly. Also published by K.G. Saur Verlag, München on CD-ROM.

Series B: Bibliographies of materials organized by topic published by G. Henle Verlag, München

B/I and B/II: Printed Music in Collections, 1500-1799

  • B/I: François Lesure, Recueils imprimés XVIe-XVIIe Siècles, 1960.
  • B/II: François Lesure, Recueils Imprimés XVIIIe Siècles, 1964.

B/III: The theory of music, from the Carolingian era to c. 1500

  • B/III/1: Joseph Smits van Waesberghe, The Theory of Music from the Carolingian Era up to 1400. Volume I: Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts, 1961.
  • B/III/2: Pieter Fischer, The Theory of Music from the Carolingian Era up to 1400. Volume II: Italy, 1968.
  • B/III/3: Michel Huglo and Christian Meyer, The Theory of Music. Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500 in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1986.
  • B/III/4: Michel Huglo and Nancy C. Phillips, The Theory of Music. Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500 in Great Britain and in the United States of America: Descriptive Catalogue, 1992.
  • B/III/5: Christian Meyer, Elzbieta Witkowska-Zaremba, Karl Werner Gümpel, The Theory of Music: Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500 in the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Spain: Descriptive Catalogue, 1997.
  • B/III/6: Christian Meyer, Cesarini Ruini, Giuliano Di Bacco, The Theory of Music. Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500: Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts: Addenda, Corrigenda, 2003.

B/IV: Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music, 11-16th centuries

  • B/IV/1: Gilbert Reaney, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music. 11th-Early 14th Century, 1966.
  • B/IV/2: Gilbert Reaney, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music (c. 1320-1400), [with supplement to B/IV/1], 1969.
  • B/IV/1-2: Andrew Wathey, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music. Supplement to B/VI/1-2. The British Isles, 1100-1400, 1993.
  • B/IV/3-4: Kurt von Fischer and Max Lütolf, Handschriften mit mehrstimmiger Musik des 14., 15., und 16. Jahrhunderts, 1972.
  • B/IV/5: Nanie Bridgman, Manuscrits de musique polyphonique, Xve et XVIe siècles. Italie, 1991.

B/V: Manuscripts of Tropes and Sequences

  • B/V/1: Heinrich Husmann, Tropen- und Sequenzen Handschriften, 1964.
  • B/V/2: Nancy van Deusen, Katalog der mittelalterlichen Sequenzen, [in preparation].

B/VI: Printed writings about music, to 1800

  • B/VI/1-2: François Lesure, Écrits imprimés concernant la musique, 2 vols, 1971.

B/VII: Lute and guitar tablatures

  • B/VII/1: Wolfgang Boetticher, Handschriftlich überlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen des 15. Bis 18. Jahrhunderts, 1978.

B/VIII: Das deutsche Kirchenlied

  • B/VIII/1: Konrad Ameln, Markus Jenny and Walter Lipphardt, Das deutsche Kirchenlied, Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Melodien. Band 1, Teil 1: Verzeichnis der Drucke von den Anfängen bis 1800, 1975; Register, 1980.
  • B/BIII/2: Konrad Ameln, Markus Jenny and Walter Lipphardt, Das deutsche Kirchenlied. Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Melodien. Band 1, Teil 2: Verzeichnis der Drucke. Register, 1980.

B/IX: Hebrew sources of music and music theory

  • B/IX/1: Israel Adler, Hebrew notated manuscript sources up to circa 1840: A Descriptive catalogue with a checklist of printed sources, 2 vols, 1989.
  • B/IX/2: Israel Adler, Hebrew writings concerning music in manuscripts and printed books from Geonic times up to 1800, 1975; Register, 1989.

B/X: Arabic sources of music and music theory

  • B/X: Amnon Shiloah, The theory of music in Arabic writings (c. 900-1900). Descriptive catalog of manuscripts in libraries of Europe and the U.S.A., 1979.
  • B/X/2: Amnon Shiloah, The theory of music in Arabic writings (c. 900-1900). Descriptive catalog of manuscripts in libraries of Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and supplement to B/X, 2003.

B/XI: Ancient sources of music and music theory

  • B/XI: Thomas J. Mathiesen, Ancient greek music theory. A catalogue raisonné of manuscripts, 1988.

B/XII: Persian sources of music and music theory

  • B/XII: Mohammed Taghi Massoudieh, Manuscrits persans concernant la musique, 1996.

B/XIII: Sources of Hymnody

  • B/XIII/1: Karol Hlawiczka, Jan Kouba, Teresa Krukowski, Marie Skalická, Leon Wotkowski, Hymnologica Bohemica, Slovaca, Polonica et Sorabica [in preparation].

B/XIV: Les Manuscrits du Processional

  • B/XIV/1: Michel Huglo, Les manuscrits du processionnal, vol. 1: Autriche à Espagne, 1999.
  • B/XIV/2: Michel Huglo, Les manuscrits du processionnal, vol. 2 [in preparation].

B/XV

Cristina Urchueguia, Katalog der Mehrstimmigen Messen in Quellen spanischer und portugiesischer Provienienz (ca. 1490-1630). [in preparation]


Series C: Directories of Music Research Libraries published by Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel

  • C/I: Marian Kahn, Helmut Kallmann, Charles Lindahl, Directory of music research libraries. Volume 1: Canada and the United States, 2nd ed., 1983.
  • C/II: Elizabeth Davis, Directory of music research libraries. Volume 2: Sixteen European countries (A, B, CH, D, DK, E). 2nd ed., 2001.
  • C/III/1: Elizabeth Davis, Directory of music research libraries. Volume 3, 1: Sixteen European countries (F, FIN, GB, IRL, L, N, NL, P, S). 2nd ed., 2001.
  • C/III/2: N.N., Directory of music researchl Libraries. Volume 3, 2: Italy [in preparation].
  • C/IV: Cecil Hill, Katya Manor, James Siddons, Dorothy Freed, Directory of music research libraries. Volume 4: Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, 1979.
  • C/V: James B. Moldovan, Lilian Pruett, Directory of music research libraries. Volume 5: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Yogoslavia, 1985.

Sonderband: RISM-Bibliothekssigel

  • Gesamtverzeichnis, bearbeitet von der Zentralredaktion in der Ländergruppen des RISM, 1999.

Call for Updates to the RISM A/II Database, December 2011

The AMS-MLA Joint RISM Committee seeks to update the U.S. holdings in RISM Series A/II: Music Manuscripts after 1600, an online inventory of music manuscripts primarily of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Our goal is both to update the holdings of libraries currently represented in the RISM A/II database and to add new libraries with appropriate collections and manuscripts not presently included in the resource. We are gathering information now in order to seek grant funding for the cataloging and digitization of these manuscripts.

The A/II database is now freely available for searching. It is an open-access site developed collaboratively by the RISM Central Editorial Office, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; an English interface is available.


What We Need Now

The RISM Office needs an inventory list of manuscripts (preferably formatted in Word or Excel, but an ordinary e-mail will suffice) that you consider eligible for inclusion in the RISM A/II database (see the appended guidelines section ) providing as much of the following information as possible:

  • Shelf or call no.
  • Composer if known
  • Title
  • Physical description (extent), such as score or parts, no. of folios, approximate no. of items (for collective manuscripts), etc.
  • Please note:
    The RISM cataloging standard is oriented towards cataloging each individual musical work contained in a source rather than the musical document as a whole. For this survey, however, it is not necessary to list the individual works of a collective manuscript, although RISM will catalog these bound collections of manuscripts on both the collective and individual item levels.

How to Search the RISM Database for Library RISM Sigla

The easiest way to obtain a list of a specific library’s holdings in the A/II database is to enter an advanced search on the library’s RISM sigla. A searchable database of library sigla is available on the RISM web site. A list also appears in Oxford (Grove) Music Online. For example, a “library sigla” (Bibliothekssiegel) search on US NH (the siglum for Yale) retrieves 9,740 records for Yale’s manuscripts reported to date.


Examples of Submitted Data

Single manuscript:
Shelf no.: Mus 745.1.302.5
Composer: Mozart [include first name; often available and sometimes necessary]
Title: Quartetto di Mozart [K. 478]
Material description: 4 parts

Collective manuscript:
Shelf no.: Mus 542.26
Composer: [Various composers]
Title: Italian songs and duets
Material description:[Contains 8 arias]; score, 156f.


Guidelines for Submissions to this RISM Series A/II Update Survey

  • Include only manuscripts of polyphonic music written in staff notation. Do not include manuscripts notated in keyboard, lute, guitar, or other tablatures.
  • It is important to remember that inclusion in A/II is based on a composer’s life dates rather than on the date of a specific manuscript (it is a common misconception that all manuscripts in RISM 1/II date 1600–1800). Historically, RISM A/II has included manuscripts copied before 1600 and up to ca. 1850 representing composers born after 1570 and before 1770. The database would thus catalog a mid-19th-century manuscript of music by Mozart (1756–1791). In some cases, RISM A/II may include manuscripts of qualifying composers copied even later than 1850.
  • Include anonymous works if the musical style falls roughly between the 1600–1800 parameters; when in doubt, submit rather than not.
  • Include collective manuscripts containing any composers within the scope of RISM A/II.
  • As a guiding general principle, when in doubt about whether or not a manuscript meets the criteria for inclusion, please include it.
  • While the immediate priority of the U.S. RISM project focuses on manuscripts meeting the above-stated parameters, we are now, in addition, collecting information on manuscripts of 19th-century composers, since it is possible to include them in the database available at the RISM-OPAC web site. In order to expand the scope of the U.S. portion of the database in this way we request that you also indicate your holdings of manuscripts of composers active in the first half of the 19th century (thus include, for example, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Wagner but omit Mahler).
  • Digitized manuscripts. Libraries that have digitized images freely available on the World Wide Web of manuscripts already in RISM A/II or newly submitted in this survey should send links with their survey responses, for it is now possible to link to digital objects from the RISM A/II database.
  • Errors. If you find errors in records already in the database or with to add additional information to existing records please notifyvia e-mail Sarah Adams at the U.S. RISM Office. See How to Search the RISM Database for Library RISM Sigla.

How to Submit Additions and Updates to the RISM A/II Database

Please respond via e-mail to Sarah Adams at the U.S. RISM Office.

We invite any questions about this survey and your manuscript materials.

We deeply appreciate your help in updating the U.S. holdings in the RISM A/II database and thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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