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The RISM publications represent RISM's activities that began in 1952 and continue to the present day. Series A documents musical sources in two parts: printed music (A/I) and music manuscripts (A/II). The RISM Online Catalog comprises series A/II. Series B is designed to cover specific categories of repertory. Series A and B are supplemented by Series C, the Directory of Music Research Libraries.  Special volumes have also been published on the Tenorlied and RISM library sigla (now available as an online database).

Series A: Inventories of musical sources

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A/I: Einzeldrucke vor 1800 (Individual Prints before 1800). Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1971-2012.
9 volumes, 4 supplements, index, CD-ROM)      

  • Einzeldrucke vor 1800, 9 vols., 1971-1981.
  • Einzeldrucke vor 1800: Addenda et Corrigenda, 4 vols., 1986-1999.
  • Einzeldrucke vor 1800: Register der Verleger, Drucker und Stecher und Register der Orte zu den Bänden 1-9 und 11-14, 2003.

Series A/I documents printed music that was issued individually between 1600-1800. At over 100,000 entries, this is the most comprehensive source available for printed musical works. A CD-ROM that incorporates all of the printed volumes was released in 2012.

A/II: Music Manuscripts after 1600. Database index, 1986, (2 microfiches); annual CD-ROM, 1995-2010; free online database since 2010. Also available as a subscription database from EBSCO

  • Musikhandschriften nach 1600: Nine editions in total: 1-2 on microfiche; 3-9 on CD-ROM (German, English, French, Italian, Spanish). First edition, 1983 (ca. 40,000 entries); eleventh edition, 2003 (ca. 455,000 entries).

Series A/II is the most comprehensive guide available to music manuscripts produced after 1600.  Sources from over 900 libraries, museums, archives, churches, schools, and private collections in more than 35 countries around the world are described in the database. Full bibliographic information is available for 850,000 records. Included are manuscripts, printed music, librettos, and treatises. The database is updated monthly.

Series B: Bibliographies of materials organized by topic

Publisher: Munich: G.Henle

B/I and B/II: Printed collections of the 16th-18th centuries

Includes about 4,500 printed collections that were published in anthologies. An index of composers in B/I, edited by Petro Zappala, is available as a PDF.

  • François Lesure, Recueils imprimés, XVIe-XVIIe siècles (1960)
  • François Lesure, Recueils imprimés, XVIIIe siècle (1964)

B/III: The theory of music from the Carolingian Era up to c.1500

These publications are focused on sources of medieval music theory. They offer a "description of all manuscripts in which are preserved Latin treatises--however small--dealing with the theory of music which was in use from the Carolingian era to 1400 [which was extended to 1500 in volume 3]. Moreover, it relates the anonymous treatises in one or other manuscript to those other manuscripts in which the same--generally unpublished--treatise is found...The Index supplies a survey of the manuscripts in which this theoretical tradition is preserved, by providing a list of the authors' names and the incipits of the anonymous treatises."

  • 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, Christian Meyer, 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, Elżbieta 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, 11-16 centuries

  • B/IV, 1: Gilbert Reaney, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music. 11th-Early 14th Century, 1966.        Description, bibliography and thematic incipits for all the known polyphonic manuscripts up to the beginning of the Ars Nova period.
  • B/IV, 2: Gilbert Reaney, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music (c. 1320-1400). With supplement to B/IV,1. 1969.
    Description, bibliography and thematic incipits for all the known polyphonic manuscripts between c. 1320 and c. 1400, with the exception of Czech and Polish manuscripts and Italian Ars Nova sources.
  • B/IV, 1-2, supp.: Andrew Wathey, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music. Supplement to B/VI,1-2. The British Isles, 1100-1400, 1993.
    A supplement to Reaney's catalogs that describes additional sources in Great Britain and Ireland.
  • B/IV, 3-4: Kurt von Fischer and Max Lütolf, Handschriften mit mehrstimmiger Musik des 14., 15., und 16. Jahrhunderts, 1972.
    Vol. II: Great Britain-Yugoslavia
  • B/IV, 5: Nanie Bridgman, Manuscrits de musique polyphonique, Xve et XVIe siècles. Italie, 1991.
    Descriptions of polyphonic music manuscripts of the 15th and 16th centuries preserved in Italian libraries.

B/V: Manuscripts of tropes and sequences

  • Heinrich Husmann, Tropen- und Sequenzen Handschriften, 1964.

B/VI: Printed writings about music
Attempts to bring together all literature concerning music, whether theoretical, historical, aesthetic, or technical.

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

B/VII: Manuscripts of lute and guitar tablatures

  • B/VII/1: Wolfgang Boetticher, Handschriftlich überlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts, 1978.
    A descriptive catalog of all manuscripts handed down in lute and guitar tablature

B/VIII: German hymns
A catalog of traceable printed sources of German hymns, of all denominations, from the end of the 15th century until 1800 that contain at least one melody in musical notation. Also contains those editions of which no copy is known but whose former existence has been determined by previous bibliographies or research. Part 2 is an index arranged by title, names, places, publishers, and sigla.

  • 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.
  • B/BIII/2: Markus Jenny, Das deutsche Kirchenlied. Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Melodien. Band 1, Teil 2: Verzeichnis der Drucke. Register, 1980.

    B/IX: Hebrew sources

    • B/IX,1: Israel Adler, with the assistance of Lea Shalem, Hebrew notated manuscript sources up to circa 1840: A descriptive catalogue with a checklist of printed sources, 2 vol., 1989.
      All available Hebrew manuscript documents containing notated musical items which are datable up to circa 1840.
    • B/IX,2: Israel Adler, Hebrew writings concerning music in manuscripts and printed books from Geonic times up to 1800, 1975.
      A corpus of Hebrew writings concerning music (not only a catalog of these sources), arranged alphabetically by author.

    B/X: The theory of music in Arabic writings, c. 900 - 1900

    Over 500 sources of Arabic music theory from its beginnings to the end of the nineteenth century.

    • 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,A: 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 Greek music theory

    Descriptions for nearly 300 codices, extending from the 11th thruogh the 17th centuries.

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

    B/XII: Persian music theory

    Over 200 Persian musical manuscripts, encompassing virtually the total corpus thereof.

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

    B/XIII: Hymnologica Slavica (Slavic hymns)

    Publications of hymn sources in the Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Sorbian languages containing musical notation, from the 16th to 18th centuries.

    • B/XIII,1: Hymnologica Slavica: Hymnologica Bohemica, Slavica (HBS), Polonica (HP), Sorabica (HS). Notendrucke des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts, 2012.

    B/XIV: Manuscripts of the processional
    Descriptions of over 1100 notated processionals and over 150 manuscripts with processional chant.

    • 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: France à Afrique du Sud, 2004.

    B/XV: Polyphonic music in Ibero-American sources

    • B/XV: Cristina Urchueguia, Mehrstimmige Messen in Quellen aus Spanien, Portugal und Lateinamerika, ca. 1490-1630. Drucke, Handschriften und verlorene Quellen, 2005

    Series C: Music research libraries

    Publisher: 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 research 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, Yugoslavia, 1985.

    Special volumes (G. Henle Verlag, München & Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel joint publications)

    • Norbert Böker-Heil,  Harald Heckmann, and Ilse Kindermann: Das Tenorlied: Mehrstimmige Lieder in deutschen Quellen, 1450-1580. Catalogus musicus 9.

      • Volume 1: Drucke, 1979.
      • Volume 2: Handschriften, 1982.
      • Volume 3: Register, 1986.
    • RISM-Bibliothekssigel: Gesamtverzeichnis, 1999.
      A new, searchable edition is available here on this website.


    Series A/I; series B, Volume VIII, parts 1 & 2; series C

    Series B (with the exception of Volume VIII, parts 1 and 2)

    Series A/II CD-ROM (terminated 2008)

    Series A/II (before 2006)

    Series A/II (after 2006)

    Congress report