One Year of Muscat

Muscat has been in use by the wider RISM community for one year!

One year ago, RISM released its specialized cataloging program for describing musical sources to RISM contributors worldwide. Muscat provides users with a web-based, platform-independent program that can be used to describe music manuscripts, printed music, treatises, and libretti. Muscat has been developed through a collaboration between the RISM Central Office and RISM Switzerland and was based on a program jointly developed by RISM Switzerland and RISM UK. In use by these two national groups for nearly 10 years, this open-source program continues to adapt to RISM's cataloging needs with regular releases.

Since last November, Muscat has welcomed over 200 users from over 20 countries in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. Fifteen workshops have been held worldwide. Music librarians, archivists, musicologists, students, and other information professionals use Muscat to add new musical sources, report new holdings for printed editions, correct mistakes, update details like shelfmarks, and link to digitized music. Over 27,000 records have been added in Muscat in the past year. Currently, Muscat contains a total of 1,104,000 records.

Muscat users appreciate the intuitive interface, improved incipit display, integrated full catalog search, and ways of communicating with other users through a commenting system. With a structural basis in MARC21 and links to VIAF for name authorities, Muscat is rooted in library practice and enjoys data exchange capabilities in a variety of formats. In the past year, we have made the Muscat interface available in English, German, French, and Italian and we added a training version for use in workshops and demonstrations. In the upcoming year, we will be adding translations of the Muscat interface and guidelines in Spanish and Portuguese.

RISM encourages people at universities, libraries, archives, or other interested individuals to directly contribute to the documentation of musical sources worldwide by using Muscat. If your library has holdings in RISM that need to be updated, if you are working on sources related to a specific composer, or if you are in a position to add sources to RISM, we would be interested in hearing from you.


Image: Balloons adapted from Sweet Clip Art.


Category: New at RISM

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