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Summary of Activities, 1969

Barry S. Brook, President de la Commission Mixte du RILM
Nanna Schiødt, Recording Secretary

Report No. 4: Amsterdam, 1969

During the AIBM sessions in Amsterdam, three meetings were devoted to RILM, one a general meeting and the other two together with the cataloguing commission. The general meeting, made up of members of the commission internationale mixte and chairmen of national committees (or their representatives), plus interested guests, occurred on August 20th. Some 40 persons attended.

The president of the commission reported, as follows:

1. RILM Abstracts II/1, covering the first four months of 1968, has just appeared. (Copies were distributed.) This single issue contains 1433 items as compared to 2832 entries for the entire preceding year. The typography is clearer; the columns are right-justified; there are even reproductions of two Callot engravings. Editorial work on the next issue, II/2, is well under way. A new list of “logical” abbreviations will henceforth be used to save space. A detailed thesaurus of index terms has been prepared for use in II/4 and future cumulative indexes.

2. In the past six months, three additional countries have established national RILM committees: Ghana, Mexico and Paraguay. In addition, the number and activity of area editors has increased so that coverage of peripheral music literature and of materials from related disciplines has expanded. Area editors prepared special reports of their work for the Amsterdam meeting; these will be combined into a single report describing area editor activities.

3. Subscription figures for RILM Abstracts are mounting slowly and steadily. There are now about 1000 subscribers, about half individual and half institutional. Figures from the Bärenreiter Verlag, which recently has begun functioning as European distributor for RILM, are not yet available.

4. The RILM project has received a grant from the Chancellor’s Fund of the City University of New York to ensure its continued functioning. This will provide funds for an additional assistant editor to help speed up publication which has been delayed by difficulties in developing the computerized cumulative index.

5. The process of fully automating the RILM system is proceeding. When perfected, the process will permit greater production speed and will be used by several other disciplines participating in the American Council of Learned Societies bibliographic project (of which RILM is the pilot).

6. Retrospective RILM, while basically in abeyance until current RILM is fully automated and on schedule, will be tested through two publications now close to completion: French language dissertations on music and Thematic catalogs in music; an annotated bibliography (including printed, manuscript, and in-progress thematic indexes). In conjunction with retrospective RILM, investigations are now under way into the use and costs of the ultra-microfiche process. A single ultra-microfiche, 4 x 6 inches in size, contains as much as 3200 pages of text, very legible in the ultra-microfiche reader, and reproducible, in original-size paper hardcopy, by a special reader/printer.

The second portion of the meeting was devoted to national RILM committee reports, presented either in person by the respective chairmen (or their representatives), or summarized from written reports sent in for this purpose.

Oral reports were presented as follows:

Germany (BRD)
Great Britain
Ian Spink (for Donald Peart)
Bernard Huys
Markéta Kralovcova (for Jaroslav Jiránek)
Nanna Schiødt (for Torben Schousboe)
François Lesure
Harald Heckmann (Klaus-Ernst Behne)
Alexander Hyatt King
Israel Adler
Clemens yon Gleich
Maria Prokopowicz (for Kornel Michalowski)
Miguel Querol (Tomas Marco)
Anders Lönn (for Ingmar Bengtsson)
Vera Magnickaja (for Grigori Šneerson)
Barry S. Brook

In addition, written reports were received and summarized from:

Germany (DDR)  
Sibylle Dahms (for Gerhard Croll)
Mercedes de Moura Reis Pequeno
Konrad Niemann
Senkar Sen Gupta
Aloys Fleischmann
Øystein Gaukstad
Maria Fernanda Cidrais Rodrigues
Victor Ravizza
Francisco Curt Lange
Dragotin Cvetko
Isabel Aretz de Ramón y Rivera

The following national committee members and guests also participated:

Germany (BRD)
Germany (DDR)
Great Britain
Vladimir Dvořák, Milena Galuškova. Maria Skalická, M.Svobodova
Dan Fog
Antoine Bloch-Michel. Yvette Fédoroff. Vladimir Fédorov. Paule Letailleur
Dieter Bloch. Alfons Otto KarIheinz Schlager. Liesbeth Weinhold, Ilse Charlotte Wolf
Hans Martin Plesske. Konrad Sasse, Herta Schetelich
Miriam Hunt Miller, Susan Stanley, Walter H. Stock
Sergio Paganelli
Axel Helmer. Bo Lundgren
Randall Brook, Virginia Cunningham, Donald W. Krummel, Violet Lowens, Clarice Ostertag, Melville J. Ostertag, Geraldine Ostrove

During the lively discussion period that ended the general meeting, the following conclusions were arrived at:

1. The question of whether RILM Abstracts should publish only citations-plus-keywords rather than citations-plus-abstracts was resolved overwhelmingly in favor of the present practice. The great advantage of abstracts over keywords is that a properly written abstract informs the reader not only of the bare subject headings, but also of the author’s treatment, viewpoints and conclusions about them. The reader, faced with an ocean of literature, can thus decide with greater precision which publications he wishes to read in their entirety. The citation-plus-abstract method is being used increasingly in many humanistic disciplines. It will remain the basis of RlLM. An exception was agreed upon for the backlog of items from West Germany: In order that the West-German committee, established only recently, could catch up with all outstanding 1967 and 1968 items, some few entries for those two years only have been accepted for publication in RILM Abstracts with citations only. For retrospective RILM, it may be expedient to use only keywords.

2. Pagination of RlLM should be continuous for each annual volume (rather than for each issue as heretofore).

3. Roman numerals for periodical volume numbers assist in distinguishing between volume number and issue number and should be retained.

4. Collective volumes, such as Festschriften and Congress Reports, could be listed more usefully under name of the honored individual or institution instead of that of the editor. This practice will be instituted in III/3.

5. The principles of inclusion and exclusion as agreed upon in Salzburg and Ljubljana (RILM report No. 2) were reinforced. All items in core journals are included automatically. Elsewhere, the significance of the article is what counts, not where it is published. Newspaper articles and pedagogical manuals however are usually excluded. When any doubt exists, it is always wiser for the national chairman to send in an abstract. Every effort will be made to include it. If the item is ultimately excluded, the International RILM Center will endeavor to inform committee chairmen of specific reasons for the exclusion. By this procedure, policy for inclusion and exclusion will become more precisely defined.

The other two RILM meetings, on Monday August 18th and Thursday August 21st, were held in conjunction with the cataloguing commission (Kurt Dorfmüller, president) and its subcommittee on classification. Their purpose in the first instance was to discuss the cumulative index of Volume 114 and how it might be made more useful; in the second meeting the subject was the provisional thesaurus of index terms to be used for the index of RILM as it will appear in II/4.

The discussion and conclusions arrived at may be summarized as follows:

1. RILM Abstracts is in the process of developing a system of “faceted indexing” which will make increasing use of the computer while retaining human editorial control. Toward this end, RILM has been in consultation with several outstanding machine-indexing specialists and especially music classification experts such as the Music Library Association’s special RlLM advisory committee (Frank Campbell, chairman) and the AIBM cataloguing and classification commission.

2. The new thesaurus is designed to eliminate inconsistent, irrelevant, and redundant terms. Its objective is to achieve uniformity of terminology, consistency of treatment of different types of subject entries, and inclusion of as many “see” references in French and German as can be effective for all readers.

3. When used as subject index terms, Christian names would henceforth be given in full where possible.

4. Alphabetization will be word-by-word instead of letter-by-letter up to the first comma, as heretofore.

Accents are ignored in alphabetization.

5. Surnames with separate prefixes will continue to be entered according to a RILM practice which is uniform for all languages: when the article is present, either separately or as a compound preposition-plus-article prefix, the alphabetization is by article or by compound. Such prefixed names are alphabetized as though spelled in one word. (However, compound and hyphenated names, such as Vaughan Williams or Schmidt-Görg, are alphabetized as two words.) When the preposition only is present, it is inverted and thus appears at the end of the name. Examples:

Accone, Frank A. d’
Baer, Ena von
Baera, Michel de
Bär, Carl
Dellabella, Stefano
Della Corte, Alberto
Dellacorte, Domenico
Der Linden, Rénaat von
Der Meer, John Henry van
La Laurencie, Lionel de
Le Clair, Annemarie
Leclair, Jean-Marie
Le Huray, Peter
Vander Linden, Albert
When ambiguity exists, “see” references are employed, for example: De’ Paoli, Domenico, see Paoli, Domenico de’

6. Transliteration of non-roman alphabets (Cyrillic, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, etc.) continue to be based on the recommendations of I.S.O. (International Standardization Organization). Original titles and authors’ names should always be sent to RILM in the original alphabet. The names will then also be printed in I.S.O. transliteration and the tides in English translation. At the present time, only the Cyrillic alphabet is employed this way. Eventually, all non-roman alphabets will be similarly treated.

It was agreed that the classification subcommittee of the cataloguing commission would devote one of its sessions at the next AIBM meeting in Leipzig to a discussion and evaluation of the revised RILM thesaurus and indexing procedures in operation at that time.