Barry S. Brook, President de la Commission Mixte du RILM
Nanna Schiødt, Secretary
Report No. 17: 1982
Thirty-one participants from seventeen countries attended the RILM sessions.
Report by the President
RILM Abstracts is back on a regular schedule after the completion of the oversize lacunae issue, X/4. In the last year the issues of vol. XI have been appearing according to a normal production year. The issues have also grown in size: volume XI contains 6,142 abstracts, whereas prior to volume X we were bringing out approximately 5,000.
The second five-year cumulative index is progressing. It is a monumental task because of the size of vol. X. It deals with 35,018 entries, as opposed to the 20,837 covered in the first five-year index. The indexers, in a triumph of industry and application, are handling this in addition to their on-going work on the incoming abstracts and index issues. We expect the concrete results of this labor to be available in the late spring of 1983.
Our income from the computerized DIALOG data base has grown steadily in the last year. Users are apparently discovering that if their search is properly prepared, results are swift in coming and the procedure is therefore inexpensive. Our data base now contains 45,000 records; this will, of course, increase as each issue is published and as vols. I-IV are added. We expect an increase in royalties for the next fiscal year.
We have employed the services of a financial consultant for the purpose of determining (1) the amount we would have to increase our prices in order to be financially independent and (2) the feasibility of an American national committee which would function separately, apart from the RILM office, and, like the other national committees in their respective countries, would gather abstracts from US sources. It would allow the RILM staff, which now also functions as the American committee, to concentrate on its principal objectives, editing and production. The report of John Wilmerding, the consultant, indicates that such a committee would be financially feasible if outside support for it is forthcoming; in that case, the time that the accessions editor and other staff members devote to US matters could be used for other aspects of RILM work. Geraldine Ostrove, chair of the US branch of IAML, has appointed an ad hoc committee of three—Lenore Coral, Melva Peterson, and Don Roberts—to investigate the practicality of an American committee and possibilities for funding it.
We are not overlooking the problem of achieving currency. Again, however, lack of funds for extra staff during the catch-up period is an impediment. Government support, of which we have been the grateful recipient since the inception of RILM, is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain; private foundations are flooded with requests from humanities projects which have also been cut off from the Endowment. There does appear to be the possibility, which we are pursuing, of funding through international agencies.
The meeting included a demonstration by Tom Heck, music librarian of Ohio State University, on existing data bases that could be used to increase RILM’s coverage of non-music journals. The Arts and Humanities data base, which indexes 1,000 journals, should prove especially useful.
Professor K. Watanabe, representing the Japanese national committee, explained the workings of the committee and its connection to IAML. Reports were also presented by Mariangela Donà, Jànos Kàrpàti, Yvette Fédoroff, Bernard Huys, and Maria Fernanda Cidrais Rodrigues. Dorothy Freed, reference librarian of the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, wrote that she would be sending 104 abstracts from an assortment of 14 journals that included not only Studies in Music and the New Zealand Slavonic Journal but also the New Zealand Speech Therapists’ Journal and the Pacific Maono Quarterly; it represents complete coverage of the journals of the country.
We recently searched DIALOG to ascertain the number of languages reported on in RILM Abstracts. In the issues on-line, vols. V through XI, we found titles in 33 languages. The figure breaks down as follows:
LA = Finnish
LA = Hebrew
LA = Hungarian
Commission Internationale Mixte
The meeting was attended by the following members: Harald Heckman, Melva Peterson, Malcolm Turner, Günter Brosche, Israel Adler, Nanna Schiødt, János Kárpáti, and Barry Brook. The discussion once again centered on the matter of selection criteria to be used as guidelines for the national chairmen. It was concluded that “scholarly” should replace “significant” as the decisive concept in the selection process. Materials such as reminiscences and correspondence, which cannot be properly called scholarly but are indeed significant in scholarly work, should of course be included. It was further decided that practical manuals and method books should be excluded, that reviews continue to be cited, and that appropriate scholarly writings found in non-musical sources be included whenever possible. In addition, the suggestion to omit commentaries printed within an edition of music was voted down; they usually contain new—and often important—information. These conclusions, and the others reached, will be sent in concise form to the national committees by the Commission Mixte in the near future.