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Summary of Activities, 1997-98

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Vol. XXIX (1995): Vol. 29 is being sent to the printer on 30 June. It contains 17,223 records and is the largest RILM volume to date. In fact, it is the first volume to exceed the size of Vol. 10 (1976), which included lacunae from previous years. Because the RILM volumes are getting so large—and therefore cumbersome to use—the index of Vol. 29 is being bound separately. Both sections will be clothbound, and they will be shrink-wrapped together and mailed to subscribers in a single box. We hope the separately bound index will make the volume more convenient to use.

A new work flow was initiated at the International Center with Vol. 29 in order to provide monthly updates to our online services and quarterly updates to the CD-ROM. Instead of finishing half a book at a time, as we did with Vol. 28, we are now completing the editing and proofreading of 2000 records before moving on to the next 2000; thus, each month roughly 2000 fully abstracted and indexed records are uploaded to OCLC’s FirstSearch and NISC’s BiblioLine services, and every quarter close to 6000 new records are added to the CD-ROM.

Vol. XXX (1996): Already over 4700 records for 1996 are in RILM’s database, and we have thousands more from committees ready to access. We are aiming to produce Vol. 30 in 10 months. RILM’s new database system, based on Paradox 8 for Windows 95, will be inaugurated with this volume. The new database should provide a more efficient and useful system for processing, editing, and indexing records.

Current Citations: RILM’s current citations project continues to grow. Citations are accessed at the International Center directly from ca. 250 journals that we receive, thus providing electronic citations to the most current periodical articles. Citations sent to RILM via the website will soon be added to these current citations as well. Users of RILM’s electronic products tell us that having access to such recent material has significantly enhanced the value of our database.

RILM Online: RILM’s online databases, through OCLC’s FirstSearch and NISC’s BiblioLine, are thriving. Well over 600 institutions search RILM online every month; it is the most up-to-date version of RILM, as we add new records to it monthly. Both services continue to improve their interfaces and searching capabilities. Further improvements to RILM online are expected, including (1) hotlinked records and terms, in which a user can click on an index term and automatically perform a database-wide search of it, or on a reference to another RILM record and go directly to that record; (2) display of more diacritical marks; and (3) the addition of new fields, including URLs for electronic publications. Contact NISC and OCLC through their websites for more information and for a free trial: OCLC’s address is and NISC’s is

RILM on CD-ROM: There are two important innovations to RILM’s CD-ROM, issued by NISC as the MUSE disc. First, it is now updated quarterly instead of semiannually for the same subscription price. Second, the issue being mailed out at the moment will have the option of being run on a DOS platform or on a Windows 95 platform: The subscriber chooses.

Website: RILM’s website is undergoing a major redesign, during which the old site will continue to be available for use. The goals of the redesign are to make information easier to find, to give the site a somewhat updated look,  and—most importantly—to improve the forms for submitting abstracts. More and more committees and authors are using the Website to submit material, which is a great help to the International Center because they arrive at our office in an uploadable format. Alan Green, who designed the website originally, is rewriting the abstract forms according to users’ comments. So stayed tuned for a new and improved website, and as always, please send us any comments or suggestions.

International Thesaurus: We are resuming work on RILM’s International Thesaurus, which will include an English-language version of all indexing terms used throughout RILM’s history (with beginning and ending dates where applicable), as well as translations of terms into some 20 languages. It will be available in printed form, as well as on our CD-ROM and online products. We hope the availability of an up-to-date international thesaurus will make all versions of RILM more accessible to non-English-speaking users and provide more powerful searching capabilities to everyone.

Windows 95 application: RILM’s in-house database system is being rewritten for Paradox 8 for Windows 95, which will provide a more efficient system for processing, editing, and indexing RILM records. Vol. 30 (1996), which we are beginning to work on now, will be produced on this system. Our database designer, Paul D. Petersen, has a basic system ready for beta testing.

Staff: RILM hired a new editor last fall: Mark Pottinger, a doctoral student in musicology, who came to CUNY from the University of Leeds, where he received his Master’s degree. Several editors became full-time (including André Balog, Kristine Day, and Risa Freeman), and several reduced their hours (including Sara Sterling and Graeme Fullerton). The International Center has a regular staff of 21, which includes three managers (who also edit), six senior editors, nine editors, and three office assistants.

Move: The move to the new CUNY Graduate Center has been postponed again. We are now scheduled to move into the new building next summer (1999). We will keep you informed about changes in our mailing address, telephone numbers, and fax number.

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie