500 Days Since the Launch of the RISM Library Sigla Database

Sigla database

The RISM library sigla have been used to designate repositories of musical sources since the first publications were issued in the 1960s. The library sigla are made up of a country code followed by a library code. The latter is formed from a combination of abbreviations for the city and the library itself. Originally conceived to save space in publications, today they are recognized as the scholarly standard when it comes to describing sources.

A good 500 days ago—in November 2011—the RISM library sigla database was launched with an initial 7,080 sigla. In the meantime, 205 new libraries, archives, institutions, etc. have been added through monthly updates. Among these are now in countries such as China, Mexico, South Korea, and Venezuela.

In contrast to earlier lists of library sigla, the database includes links to library websites as well as links to related sources in the RISM online catalog. In addition, as long as an address is available, a Google Map with the location marked is included.

User statistics show 5,800 visits for 2012--an impressive number--and confirm the necessity of the database.

With new, user-friendly URLs (http://www.rism.info/sigla and http://www.rism.info/de/rism-bibliothekssigel.html) the database is even easier to access and cite. A short video tutorial is available online to demonstrate the basics of searching.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions or corrections to the database. If you cannot find a library sigla or an institution, do not hesitate to contact us.

Category: New at RISM

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