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RISM at the IMS/IAML 2015 Congress (New York City, USA)

Music Research in the Digital Age

The following events were held at the IMS/IAML 2015 congress in New York City:

Monday, 22 June

  • Circle Line Cruise Reception around the island of Manhattan in honor of RILM's 50th Anniversary
    Sponsored by RILM, RIPM, RISM, and RIdIM

Tuesday, 23 June

  • 14.00–15.30: Music Documentation Round Table
    • Cheryl Martin (Western University, London, ON), Jennifer Ward (RISM Zentralredaktion, Frankfurt am Main)
      RISM on a shoestring: How small country groups can contribute to RISM
      Slides (Part I) Ward: Overview
      Slides (Part II) Martin: Case study
    • Ewa Hauptman‐Fischer (Music Department, University of Warsaw Library, Warsaw)
      Musical gifts with dedications in Silesian musical manuscripts of monastery provenance
    • Round Table discussion (topics can be proposed in advance or during the session)
      • RISM Survey: Preliminary results (slides)

Thursday, 25 June

  • 9.00–10.30: RISM Session
    Chair: Klaus Keil (RISM Zentralredaktion, Frankfurt am Main)
    • Klaus Keil (RISM Zentralredaktion, Frankfurt am Main)
      News and information
      Slides
    • Sarah Adams (Richard F. French Librarian of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library and Acting Curator of the Archive of World Music, Cambridge, MA)
      RISM and the future of source studies in the US
    • Martina Rebmann (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin)
      Author and watermark research on music handwriting at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: The KoFIM Berlin Project (Music Research and Information Competence Centre): Scholarly Research and Catalog Enrichment
    • Kristina Richts (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Paderborn und der Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany), Peter Stadler (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Paderborn und der Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany)
      RISM Linked Open Data at the interface between libraries and research projects. A first attempt of defining workflows
      Slides
    • Armin Brinzing (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg)
      Putting Mozart autographs online: Thoughts about the collaboration between a library and RISM

Friday, 26 June

  • 9.00–10.30: Advisory Council (open to all national working group representatives)
    Chair: Armin Brinzing (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg)
    Minutes
  • 11.00–12.30: Commission Mixte (closed working meeting; open only for members or by invitation)
    Chair: Wolf‐Dieter Seiffert (President of RISM, RISM Commission Mixte, München)

Abstracts

Cheryl Martin (Western University, London, ON), Jennifer Ward (RISM Zentralredaktion, Frankfurt am Main)
RISM on a shoestring: How small country groups can contribute to RISM

Some RISM groups receive government or other support to provide access to RISM resources, and are able to commit significant funding and staff to creating RISM records. In other countries, this support is not available or there is no ongoing financial support, and often one or two people locate and add resources to RISM for that country.

Jennifer Ward (RISM Zentralredaktion) will discuss some ideas on how these groups might contribute records to RISM. Cheryl Martin (Western University, Canada) will talk about how she finds and adds material to to the RISM database. There are many unknown resources in Canadian libraries, archives, and museums; she will discuss a project plan for finding and adding material.

We will show an example of how MARC records can be selected from a library catalogue and sent to RISM. Now that material from any time period can be added, we will have many post‐1800 sources to contribute. There will be time for discussion of various methods to add records to the RISM catalogue.

Ewa Hauptman‐Fischer (Music Department, University of Warsaw Library, Warsaw)
Musical gifts with dedications in Silesian musical manuscripts of monastery provenance

The writing of the present paper was made possible by the cataloguing in the RISM database of over a dozen musical collections from various monasteries in Silesia. The musical items are presently kept at the Warsaw University Library. The RISM database enables comparative studies to be made on the particular sources. Also, entire collections may be perused, something that would be impossible in direct contact with several thousand volumes. The manuscripts with dedications and in the form of donations come from the monasteries of Cistercians, regular canons of St. Augustine, Clarisses, and Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.

One of the most frequent opportunities for the transmission of musical gifts were name days, always highly celebrated in monasteries in connection with the liturgical commemoration of patrons. All the manuscripts bear an appropriate inscription, usually mentioning the first name and function, as well as the monastery of the name day celebrant, and sometimes the function and place of the presenter’s activity. We also encounter short, one‐sentence inscriptions of dedications. The graphic form of the sources also varies, from the ornamental, written in coloured ink, to the untidy, with illegible penmanship and sometimes an abbreviation of the dedicatee’s last name.

The dedications also reveal a number of relations and dependencies between the presenter and the receiver. Musical gifts were received not only by monastery superiors, but also directors of chapel ensembles and their regular members, i.e. the musicians. The presenters include composers, choir regents, organists, members of chapel ensembles, and individual musicians. In secondary literature, the manuscript presenters are sometimes treated as identical with the notated compositions’ authors, something that the RISM database sometimes makes possible to verify. The dedications can be a valuable source of biographical data unknown to historians and related to the inhabitants of the monasteries. In the case of manuscripts from the women regular canons of St. Augustine in Wrocław, dedications from the seventeenth and eighteenth century transmit the names of prioresses, often with the year of their function.

On the leafs of the mentioned manuscripts, we also find exceptionally interesting information related to this monastery’s musical practice: the dedications mention particular nuns, together with their function in the chapel ensemble. The surviving, dedicated and donated manuscripts will be presented in a wider social context. The practice of offering musical prints and manuscripts was common in various circles. It could have been linked to the search for artistic patrons, the activities of composers, and their resultant duties. The described practice was also present in the private sphere. In the paper, I will attempt to answer the question: In what context did the practice of musical gifts exist in monasteries and convents? After an analysis of the surviving sources, the idea suggests itself that the actual gift did not consist of the musical inscription, i.e. a given manuscript, but the music it contained. A celebratory performance of the piece carried more significance than the often well‐prepared manuscript itself.

Round Table discussion
The remaining time in this session will be reserved for questions about the RISM project, ideas, or anything else you want to discuss. If you wish, topics can be suggested in advance: contact@rism.info. Possible topics include results from the recent survey that RISM conducted about its online catalog and the new music cataloging software Muscat.

 

Sarah Adams (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA)
RISM and the future of source studies in the U.S.

This report will review RISM‐related work underway in the U.S. as well as consider future plans. The U.S. RISM Office is currently focused on completion of the Series A/II pre‐1800 music manuscripts inventory, as well as updating holdings information for pre‐1800 printed editions made possible by the online availability of the Series A/I database. At the same time, coordination with the Library of Congress will enable online access to primary sources previously described for RISM with the digitization of both the Albert Schatz Collection of libretti, as well as treatises included in Series B/VI. While materials within the traditional scope of RISM remain at the core of RISM work in the U.S., future efforts to document primary sources must take into account the research needs and interests of U.S. scholars. A trend in American musicology towards twentieth‐century as well as American music studies—a shift reflected in the annual meeting programs of the American Musicological Society—suggest areas for future attention.

 

Martina Rebmann (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin)
Author and watermark research on music handwriting at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: The KoFIM
Berlin Project (Music Research and Information Competence Centre): Scholarly Research and Catalog Enrichment

The core of the autograph music collection at the Staatsbibliothek, the autograph documents from the 17th to the 19th century, is catalogued according to scholarly standards in the RISM/Kallisto database and ready to search in the RISM OPAC. The KoFIM project tries to find out new techniques in digital documentation of authors' handwriting and watermarks (for detailed informations see this link). These methods are being developed based on a larger portion of the collection for the first time. Relationships to other collections can be observed, which can enrich the investigation of provenance. In addition, the watermarks are fed into the watermark information system (WZIS) of the Baden‐Wuerttemberg State Archives, with whom this project works closely.

With the KoFIM project, the music department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is developing new ways of in‐depth cataloging to enrich the RISM OPAC as a leading documentation tool with additional visual information about authors and watermarks.

For this reason a new technique is being used, thermography, which allows the watermarks to be shown in historical paper in a very non‐intrusive way, thus respecting the valuable manuscripts.
For the research of authors' handwriting in music manuscripts, new approaches in digitalization are  used. Altogether, the project will contribute to a lasting improvement in the research surroundings for source‐oriented musicology.

 

Kristina Richts (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Paderborn und der Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany), Peter Stadler (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Paderborn und der Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany)
RISM Linked Open Data at the interface between libraries and research projects. A first attempt of defining workflows

The provision of RISM linked open data offers new opportunities for RISM data replication within musicological research projects. This presentation addresses the reuse and handling of RISM linked open data within the DFG‐funded project “Development of a model for extensive contextual indexing of music holdings based on MEI and TEI,” which deals with the holdings of the Detmold court theatre in the 19th century. Since the project has to start from scratch, we have to initially create an MEI document for every musical source obtained by the Lippische Landesbibliothek Detmold.

Thanks to the existing RISM records (the holdings had been recorded completely by RISM in the 1980s) which are now fortunately provided as linked open data, we could set up a semi‐automated workflow for converting and cleaning up these records from MARC XML to MEI with the help of a style sheet developed by Perry Roland and Laurent Pugin.

In the course of the project, the MEI files will be made publicly available online and accessible via the unique RISM ID. This way, the information gathered by the Detmold court theatre project can be easily grabbed by other web services and may be used for catalog enrichment or pushed back to the RISM data sets. More generally, we envision RISM IDs facilitating the linking of musical sources in the same way as the VIAF does for personal names.

 

Armin Brinzing (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg)
Putting Mozart Autographs Online: Thoughts about the collaboration between a library and RISM

Every library with historical holdings, especially music manuscripts, is confronted with the question of how to catalog and present these valuable items in the best possible way. In a time when libraries are becoming less and less a place where books or music are read on paper, it becomes more and more important for them to offer their patrons the best access possible to the originals. This does not only mean digital images but also includes a thorough description of these unique materials. Here, research libraries can demonstrate their abilities not only to present, but also to explain what they have and offer direct access to research based on these sources.

Like other libraries, the library of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation had to make a decision about how to catalog and present its unique holdings, which include autograph manuscripts by W. A. Mozart and the music collections of his two sons, in addition to other manuscripts and historical printed editions. Being also part of a research institute devoted to Mozart, this Bibliotheca Mozartiana has certain expectations regarding collaborating with an international project such as RISM.

Because many libraries are confronted with such decisions, it seems overdue to have a broader discussion about certain topics: What are RISM’s goals for the future and how is it going to achieve them? How should it improve its abilities for collaboration with libraries regarding authority files, exchanges with library catalogs and so on? How will it organize its work in the future and how will libraries and researchers be involved in this process? What will the future be of RISM and the data which it collected after funding in Germany ends? How can collaborators (libraries, researchers and so  on) be sure that they will have full access to their data in the future and that the RISM cataloging system will be kept up‐to‐date so that data can also be edited and expanded in the future?

Only if these questions are discussed within the community of librarians and musicologists can we make sure that RISM will remain an essential resource for music research and music librarianship.

This paper will illustrate these questions with practical examples from the Bibliotheca Mozartiana and other libraries.

Minutes of the RISM Advisory Council Meeting, New York, June 26, 2015

It was very interesting to hear about all the ongoing projects in the different countries. I want to summarize shortly some other questions that we discussed.

The integration of prints into the RISM OPAC has been an important improvement. Nevertheless, there is no workflow yet for additions (like shelf nos.) or corrections to existing records, or for the addition of completely new entries. The central office is asked to work on this issue together with the country groups and the advisory committee. Working actively with prints will only be possible after the introduction of MUSCAT, as the new cataloging system.

Laurent Pugin gave a short introduction about MUSCAT, which will become the new standard cataloging system sometime in 2016. It is platform-independent and is completely web-based; therefore, it does not require the installation of a client application. MUSCAT is currently under survey by the Swiss working group, the Advisory committee and the central office, with additional support from the State Library in Berlin. We expect that the evaluation of MUSCAT will be finished within the next months. After this, other people from the working groups are also invited to join us in testing and give feedback. Before the implementation of the new cataloging system in daily work, we need an elaborate checking of the old data, which will then be transferred from Kallisto to MUSCAT.

As Laurent Pugin later pointed out in the meeting of the RISM Commission mixte, the old identifiers from RISM A/I (letter plus number, such as “M 1234”) can still be cited, but all records will also receive new RISM numbers (also usable for linking to the RISM OPAC). New editions will only have the 14 digit RISM number as identifier. In general, from now on, RISM numbers will be automatically generated and will not contain any additional information (such as type of source, country group or such). Several country groups had some issues with this, but the Central office says this is necessary for technical reasons.
As the lack of funding is a central issue in many countries, Richard Chesser from the British Library suggested looking for possibilities within the European research programs. People who are interested in collaborating in such a project for cataloging manuscripts are invited to contact Richard directly (Richard.Chesser@bl.uk).

The RISM central office asks all national groups, or other people who are involved in RISM work, to send them information about their future plans and the estimated number of sources which are not yet cataloged (differentiated by approx. date, type of source etc.).

Several contributions concerned the relation of RISM to current new developments, such as the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI). To keep up with the current state of developments and offer more possibilities for the interchange of data with library systems and research projects, RISM should think about possibilities to incorporate these data models in some way. In this context, the question of authority files was also discussed briefly. It is desired that the existing files for people and institutions be synchronized with existing international files, such as VIAF (Virtual International Authority File). Also, an authority file for musical works should be taken into consideration (meanwhile, VIAF also contains titles for musical works!).

Finally, there was an agreement, that the RISM database is open for all kinds of music manuscripts, also for 19th, 20th or even 21st century music. The central office’s focus is - because of its funding - mainly on pre-1800 material, but Klaus Keil also confirmed, that they will accept also records of modern music manuscripts.

In case you have any questions or comments on these or other topics, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Many greetings from Salzburg,
Armin Brinzing
brinzing@mozarteum.at