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Summary of Activities, 1999-2000

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Overview: RILM has had quite a year settling into our new offices, dealing with many technological difficulties in the new building, publishing Volume 30 and Cumulative Index 6, working towards the completion of Volume 31, breaking in a new database application, expanding our current citations work, and reorganizing our accessions workflow. But things are going very well now, and we look forward to a more settled year to come.

Volume XXX (1996): The RILM staff completed Vol. 30 in a small, borrowed classroom at New York University last summer. We set up tables against the four walls of the room, around a grand piano, and installed about 70% of our network there. Editors were squeezed in elbow-to-elbow! But we enjoyed our time there very much, especially the beautiful neighborhood of Greenwich Village all around us, and we are grateful to the Music Department of New York University for generously donating this space and their wonderful cooperation during this period. We shipped Vol. 30 to the printer in late August. It is RILM’s largest issue to date, with 18,101 records.

Cumulative Index 6: This volume was the first to be completed in our new office space at 365 Fifth Avenue. We completed work on it in November. This cumulative index is the first to come out within months of the last volume in the cumulative five-year cycle. At 1559 pages in length, in order to print the index in one volume, we had to reduce the paper weight from 50# (used for Vol. 30) to 35#.

Volume XXXI (1997): Accessions work for Vol. 31 has closed; no new records have been added for some time now. Technological problems in our new office and with our new database application have caused some delays. Nevertheless, over half the volume has been edited, indexed, and revised, and we are working as quickly as we can on the rest. This volume is clearly going to be very large, with roughly 20,000 records. The size is due primarily to increased committee submissions. Large batches of abstracts have come from countries in the process of catching up on their abstract submissions, including thousands from Spain and hundreds from Brazil and from Cuba (among many others). This will be the first volume produced on our new Paradox 9 database running over CUNY’s new NT network.

New database application: RILM’s new in-house database application, based on Corel’s Paradox 9 for Windows, has been launched after over two years of development work. The editors have been through a trying time of debugging the new application, but now the basic entry and edit software is quite usable. Many of its more sophisticated components have yet to be developed and debugged. Once this has happened, the International Center is going to explore the possibilities of making the application available on the Web for use by national committee members and by staff members from home.

RILM Online: Subscriptions to RILM on OCLC’s FirstSearch service continue to increase significantly. While OCLC is currently experiencing some display and data problems with RILM’s records, they are working to fix this. Once they do, these fixes, combined with their new search interface (the “new” FirstSearch), should make access to RILM’s data easier and more effective. We are looking forward to these improvements!

RILM on NISC’s BiblioLine service is gaining subscribers as well, and many prefer this interface. NISC, too, is working on a new look for RILM, and the enhancements, we believe, will be considerable. In addition, RIPM is now available through NISC’s BiblioLine service, so scholars can search both databases in one location!

RILM online (both through OCLC and NISC) is generally updated every month with new and corrected records. However, because of RILM’s in-house database conversion (more on this below), we were not able to send our usual updates for several months. But as soon as our programmer completes the new output software, we anticipate that some 10,000 completely abstracted and indexed 1997 records will be released, as well as 7000 citations for 1998, 4000 citations for 1999, and 1500 citations for 2000. In fact, by the time you are reading this, these records will likely be online!

RILM on CD-ROM: CD-ROM subscriptions have remained at a fairly stable level for several years now. Most CD-ROM subscribers are in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The improvements NISC is making to RILM on BiblioLine will be reflected on the CD-ROM as well.

Links to Full-Text: RILM is pursuing links to full-text with both OCLC and NISC. Both projects are in a very early stage, but do stay tuned for progress on this front. OCLC’s Electronic Collections online is interested in obtaining as many music journals as they can; RILM records will be hotlinked to full-text articles found in all music journals in this collection. NISC has a different approach: Instead of obtaining full-text journals themselves, their goal is to provide links to existing electronic journals. Links to those journals that a school subscribes to will be live. We will keep RILM’s website updated with information as both initiatives progress.

Current Citations: The current citations project has been expanded to include not only article citations from journals we receive at the International Center, but also all committee submissions.

New Office: RILM has three fairly spacious rooms in CUNY’s new Graduate Center building. The largest room is filled with bookshelves and seven desks for full-time staff members, and one can see the Empire State Building out the window! There is another room across the hall from this one which has ten carrels. Seven of the editors that work in that room are part-time, and three are full-time. The smallest room has some of RILM’s inventory around the walls and two desks, also for staff members. For the first time, most of RILM’s staff have their own work spaces. Every work space has a computer, and every computer has access to e-mail and the Internet, which is a huge improvement over our old office, where only one computer was available for e-mail and Internet work. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the network in the new building has been very unstable, and has resulted in numerous work stoppages for RILM, whose work is so technology- and computer-dependent. However, that has improved little by little, and in early July the situation changed to RILM’s great benefit: CUNY moved RILM’s database to its own fileserver. This has proved significantly more stable and somewhat faster, because we are no longer competing for space and processing power with the rest of the Graduate Center. We encourage everyone to come for a visit! Here is RILM’s new address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address:

RILM Abstracts
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-817-1990
Fax: 212-817-1569

Staff: This year we have had a few staff changes. At the end of last summer, Kristine Day, RILM’s then Managing Editor, left RILM to assume the position of subscriptions manager for the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. In January we hired two new editors: Joseph T. Orchard, who has completed a dissertation in musicology at Rutgers University, and Elizabeth Parry, a professional editor and indexer as well as a musician. Both new staff members are proving to be valuable additions to our staff. RILM’s staff now consists of nine full-time and eleven part-time members, as well as outside translators and accessors, including two French translators, four German translators, one Italian translator, two Russian translators, one Spanish translator, one Portuguese translator, and four accessors.

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie