A brief chronology highlighting milestones in RILM's history. For more detailed information, see Reports.

2017

- RILM acquires the Index to Printed Music (IPM), the only source for searching individual pieces of music contained in printed collections, sets, and series.

2016

- RILM Abstracts with Full Text (RAFT) is launched with about 220 periodicals included in the collection.

- MGG Online is launched in a cooperation with Bärenreiter-Verlag Karl Vötterle GmbH & Co. KG, Kassel and J.B. Metzler, Part of Springer Nature, Springer Verlag GmbH, Stuttgart.

2015

- RILM has developed its stand-alone platform to host and distribute music reference works. The first reference distributed from the platform is MGG Online.

- RILM is a major sponsor of the IAML/IMS joint meeting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

- The two major bibliography products are realigned as RILM abstracts of music literature, which includes the full range of RILM records, and RILM astracts of music literature (1967 to present).

- The RILM Music Encyclopedias product is launched.

2014

- RILM and Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart announce the creation of MGG Online, which will make the second edition of this extraordinary encyclopedia available electronically.

- RILM announces that beginning in January 2015, new subscriptions to RILM will only be available through EBSCO, and no longer through ProQuest. As of January 2016, RILM will be available through EBSCO exclusively.

2013

- The 750,000th record was entered in RILM's database.

- RILM launched RILM retrospective abstracts of music literature.

- RILM hired an editor to work only with Chinese-language content.

- RILM implemented an equivalency file for personal names that includes variant spellings, transliterations, and scripts.

2012

- RILM began work on a next-generation editorial system, iBis 2. While maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 for its data store, iBis2 uses object-oriented PHP with JavaScript for its front end.

2011

- Work began on the development of the next-generation production database, iBis2.

2010

- RILM's blog, Bibliolore, is launched.

- RILM is no longer available on NISC Muse, OCLC FirstSearch, or Ovid/SilverPlatter platforms. RILM's distributors are EBSCO and ProQuest.

2008

- RILM published Volume 33 (1999), which was the final printed annual volume.

2007

- The 500,000th record was entered in RILM’s database.

- The International Council for Traditional Music joined IMS and IAML as one of RILM’s sponsoring organizations, and the composition of RILM’s Commission Internationale Mixte was changed to include four representatives nominated by each society.

2006

- RILM received a major grant from the NEH for another retrospective project, the abstracting and indexing of Festschriften published before 1967.

2005

- RILM published its manual of style, How to write about music.

- RILM organized the conference "Music’s Intellectual History: Founders, Followers, and Fads", held 16 through 19 March at the CUNY Graduate Center.

2003

- RILM received an additional grant from the Andrew W. Mellon to complete work on the retrospective conference proceedings project, which had grown significantly since it was first conceived.

- RILM started working with JSTOR to establish JSTOR's new Music Collection, one of the first repositories of full-text scholarly journals on music.

- RILM implemented a new web-based editorial system, iBis. iBis used Microsoft SQL Server as a data store and ASP and ASPX with Perl, C#, and JavaScript for its front end.

2002

- RILM became available online on the Ovid/SilverPlatter platform, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, and EBSCO.

2001

- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded RILM a grant for three projects: digitizing the first two years of RILM’s data (1967–68), which were not in machine-readable form; establishing the titles list for JSTOR’s newly conceived Music Collection; and supporting the retrospective abstracting and indexing of published conference papers on music.

2000

- The International Center’s staff grew to nine full-time and eleven part-time positions.

- RILM was incorporated in the state of New York as Répertoire International de Litterature Musicale, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.

1999

- RILM moved to its new home at the CUNY Graduate Center on Fifth Avenue, New York.

- Work began on the development of a new production database, iBis1. The acronym stands for Internet Bibliographic Indexing System.

1997

- Barry S. Brook, RILM’s founder, died on 7 December.

1996

- Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie was confirmed as Editor-in-Chief. Current citations project begins, in which RILM adds article citations from journals received at the International Center and publishes them as short records. Abstracts and indexing added later.

1994

- RILM became available online on OCLC FirstSearch.

1993

- RILM is no longer available on DIALOG Information Retrieval Services.

- RILM implemented an editorial platform using Paradox for DOS.

1991

- Adam P.J. O’Connor was confirmed as Editor-in-Chief.

1989

- Terence E. Ford was confirmed as Editor-in-Chief.

- RILM became available on CD-ROM through the Music Search platform, produced by the National Information Services Corporation in Baltimore.

1979

- RILM signed an agreement with Lockheed Information Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, to make its data available for online search through DIALOG Information Retrieval Services. RILM's data, known as DIALOG File 97, was searched by 24 users in the month of August 1979, who executed 176 queries in a total of 3.67 hours.

1976

- RILM approached financial self-sufficiency.

1974

- A cumulative index that merged the indexing for all records published in the first five years of RILM (1967–1971) was published.

1969

- Richard Golden, a computer science student at Queens College, completed the first software for word processing and sorting the bibliographic records and producing RILM's author/subject indexes. The WYLBUR text editing program was first run on IBM S/360 and later on IBM 3090-400E mainframe computer systems of the University Computer Center, CUNY. With adjustment by the Australian programmer Philip Drummond, the software remained functional until 1992.

- The number of subscribers reached 1000 (500 libraries + 500 individuals).

1968

- The Commission Internationale Mixte, RILM’s governing and advisory board, was formed with Barry S. Brook as president and Harald Heckmann and François Lesure as vice presidents.

1967

- Abstracts were classified and processed manually in Barry S. Brook’s kitchen, and in a small attic office at the top of the biology building at Queens College (where editors were frequently overcome with formaldehyde and fumes from meals cooked for laboratory rats living one floor below).

- RILM national committees were active in 39 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada., Chile, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, West Germany, East Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.

- The first quarterly installment of RILM abstracts of music literature was published in August. It included 497 bibliographic records for publications that appeared between January and March of 1967. A one-year subscription was $24.00 for libraries and institutions, and $9.00 for individuals.

1966

- The American Council of Learned Societies was exploring ways in which bibliographical and interdisciplinary concerns of scholars can effectively be met through computerization, and adopted RILM as its pilot project. As such RILM received strong moral support, modest seed funds, and computer-programming assistance.

- The establishment of RILM was supported with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, the Council on Library Resources, the Chancellor’s Fund of the City University of New York, the American Musicological Society, the Music Library Association, the College Music Society, the International Musicological Society, the International Association of Music Libraries, and the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung.

- The International Musicological Society, the International Music Council, and the International Association of Music Libraries supported the project, and RILM was established under the joint sponsorship of IMS and IAML. The first advisers to the project were Dénes Bartha, Ingmar Bengtsson, Dragotin Cvetko, Kurt von Fischer, Karl-Heinz Köhler, Jan LaRue, Zofia Lissa, Claudio Sartori, and Jack Westrup.

- Thirty-three national RILM committees were established, and they began to send bibliographic information to the International Center at Queens College in New York.

1965

- A plan for an international abstracted bibliography of music literature was presented for the first time at a meeting of the American Musicological Society’s Greater New York Chapter. The proposal was to investigate the possibility of establishing an abstract journal of significant musicological literature published throughout the world, a sort of RISM for music literature. The journal could be worked on cooperatively in many countries and by the various universities that do graduate work in musicology. Abstracts would be stored in a computer, indexed, and published, and retrieved in various ways on demand. (Barry S. Brook, "The road to RILM ", Modern Music Librarianship: In Honor of Ruth Watanabe [Stuyvesant: Pendragon Press, 1989] 85.)

- A detailed proposal for a project named RILM was presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Music Libraries, in Dijon.

- RILM would have two principal publication series, one of current literature and the other for retroactive material. It would publish current abstracts and indexes every three months and ultimately published a series of volumes devoted to retroactive bibliographical work. "Automatic indexing by computer will make possible very extensive cross indexing and effective retrieval of information. Cumulative indexes, automatically produced and printed will be published regularly. Specialized bibliographies of all kinds with and without abstracts will be published individually. Scholars working on specific research projects will eventually be able to request a bibliographic search by the computer of its stored information and to receive and automatically printed-out replay. Ultimately RILM should be self supporting from the proceeds of its publications, and from the fees from institutions and individuals requesting specialized information retrieval" (ibid., 86).

1964

- The idea for RILM was born in a bibliography class taught by Barry S. Brook at Queens College of the City University of New York.