New Version of the RISM Online Catalog

New Online Catalog

RISM would like to announce the release of a new version of the online catalog. The content is the same, but there is a new interface with features that will make it easier to find musical sources.


New features include:


  • Search for digitized music

  • Autocomplete in the search boxes

  • Boolean search (and, or, not)

  • Incipit input using on-screen piano keyboard

  • Sort results by year, title, or author

  • Atom feeds

  • Clearer attributions

One major new feature is the search for digitized music. This is available through the Advanced search. Under Limit search, go to Document type, then select Digital versions exclusively. Combine this field with a keyword to retrieve only records with a link to digitized music. After performing any search, on the left-hand side you will see different filters under Narrow results. If there are any records with links to digitized music, a link to those records will appear at the top.

In the Advanced search, you will probably notice the on-screen keyboard at the bottom of the screen. The piano keyboard enables a chromatic search and takes into account half steps, including enharmonic tones. Recall that the original incipit search, available when you select the field Music incipit or Music incipit (with transposition), only searches whole note names. The on-screen keyboard therefore allows you to perform a more specific search.

In the search results list, you can now sort results by year, title, or author. You can subscribe to a search using the Atom feed to find out when new records matching your criteria are added to the database.

Finally, in the entries themselves, designations now appear next to names so that you know how secure the attributions are. In this piece (RISM ID no.461003201), attribution to Frauenberger is conjectural, meaning it is just a guess based on secondary literature. The word alleged next to Haydn's name means that his name appears on the source, but the attribution is doubtful. The word misattributed denotes that this piece has been misattributed to Mozart in the past.

Some features, such as the option to e-mail records to yourself, will be expanded in the future. We will also create tutorials to accompany the online database and write more about specialized searches in this space.

We hope you enjoy using the new RISM catalog. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  Below is a brief video highlighting the major changes.


Category: RISM online catalog, New at RISM

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Jennifer Ward (RISM), 27-04-16 10:21:
Thank you for your comments, and I understand your frustration. I believe these technical glitches have been repaired, but if you still experience difficulty please let me know:
Howard Weiner, 10-05-14 07:48:
The new version has a lot of bugs, making it practically unusable. For example, if I enter a search term after a previous search, the new search returns the results of the previous search. Or if I click on "Show more", the whole category (genre, composers, or whatever) disappears completely. The catalog has become very frustrating to work with.
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