product header background

Summary of Activities, 1998-99

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Vol. XXX (1996): Vol. 30 is being sent to the printer in the first week of August. It contains 18,125 records and is the largest RILM volume to date. The higher number of records reflects improved coverage, thanks primarily to RILM’s national committees, who submitted a record-breaking 14,861 records to the International Center this year. Vol. 30 also has significantly fewer citations without abstracts than previous volumes. The RILM staff, with the cooperation of our national committees, is making a greater effort to obtain or to write an abstract for every record. While more abstracts means more work for our national committees and more editing and indexing time for us (not to mention a thicker book), it also means a substantially more useful bibliography. Vol. 30 is the first RILM volume to include coverage of electronic journals. Only 900 copies will be printed, reflecting the gradual decline of the number of print subscribers, but see RILM Online below!

Cumulative Index 6: We are currently working on Cumulative Index 6, which will cover Vols. 26-30 (1992-96). This will likely be the last publication RILM produces on its old Paradox for DOS database application and our last cumulative index. The growing preference for electronic versions of RILM will eventually render printed cumulative indexes unnecessary. Cumulative Index 6 is to be shipped to all paid subscribers in the late fall.

Vol. XXXI (1997): Already over 10,000 1997 records have been accessed into RILM’s database, and we have many more abstracts from committees ready to input. We are aiming to produce Vol. 31 by next August. This will be the first volume produced in RILM’s new office using RILM’s new database system, based on Paradox 8 for Windows 95. The new database application 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 several hundred journals that we receive, thus providing electronic citations for the most current periodical articles. Records sent to us via RILM’s website are also added to our electronic products as quickly as our workflow permits. Every month this current data is added to RILM’s electronic products. At present some 4000 1998 citations and almost 1000 1999 citations are available online through OCLC and NISC. 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. Usage is up 42% since last year. Some 750 institutions search RILM online every month. Last November on OCLC’s FirstSearch service alone, 729 institutions searched RILM online 42,237 times. That’s some 1400 searches daily, or over 150 searches per hour during the day. Both OCLC and NISC 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: Last year was the first year in which RILM’s CD-ROM, produced by NISC as the MuSe disc, was shipped with the option to run on a DOS or a Windows 95 platform. Feedback on the Windows 95 interface has been largely positive. Subscribers to the CD-ROM decreased somewhat this year. Predictably, institutions are tending towards online versions. RILM’s CD-ROM is updated quarterly; each annual subscriber receives four complete CD-ROM’s each year.

Website: More and more committees are submitting abstracts to RILM using the interactive forms on RILM’s website ( We are also making every effort to post news about the latest RILM goings-on on the site, so be sure to check it regularly. The website has been somewhat revised, but further changes are expected. Alan Green, who designed the website originally, is rewriting the abstract forms according to users’ comments. So stay tuned for a new and improved website, and as always, please send us any comments or suggestions.

Staff: This year RILM lost three long-time editors and hired seven new staff members. Suzanne Osborne left RILM to begin work at a law firm, Sara Sterling left to complete her seminary degree, and Damon Ferrante took a job as an editor at Rizzoli. Lori Rothstein is our new, part-time accessions editor. She takes care of all incoming paper submissions, keys in many of the current article citations, and tracks the journals we receive in-house. We also hired a new office assistance, Erika Evering, who is a high school student in New York. And, after an extensive search for new editors (98 applied for the positions), we hired five highly qualified new editors who, without exception, have already become highly valued members of our team. They are Jim Cowdery (an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Wesleyan, whose primary area is Irish music and who has a wide-ranging grasp of traditional music around the world; he previously taught at Sarah Lawrence and served as Editor-in-Chief of Ethnomusicology for several years), Marilyn Nonken (a musicologist with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, specializing in 20th-century music, with expertise in computer music, musical perception, cognition, and psychology, and German), James Melo (a musicologist who is working on a Ph.D. dissertation at New York University on Webern songs and manuscripts and who has an excellent grasp on South American music as well as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, and German), Nick Brooke (a composer working on his Ph.D. at Princeton University, with expertise in instruments, 20th-century Western music, and Indonesian music, as well as French and Indonesian), and Jason Oakes (an ethnomusicologist working on his dissertation at Columbia University in popular music).

Move: RILM is scheduled to move, along with the rest of the CUNY Graduate Center, to our permanent new home at 365 Fifth Avenue in New York. However, there have been many delays, and for July and August New York University has graciously given RILM a classroom to work in for the summer. We are completing Vol. 30 there and expect to move to our new offices in August. Please continue to use our old mailing address; mail will be forwarded from there for many months to come. However, our old telephone and fax numbers will no longer reach us, and we do not have our new numbers yet. The best way to reach us through the summer is by using our new e-mail addresses, which are first initial and last name of the staff member followed by For example, Barbara Mackenzie’s e-mail address is now; Zdravko Blazekovic’s is, and Carl Skoggard’s is When we have our new numbers and mailing address, we will post it on RILM’s website immediately. Come visit us in our new home!

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie