product header background

Summary of Activities, 2004-05

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Overview: RILM’s 2004-05 year was eventful. A new national committee was established in Korea, and several recently established or revived committees began to submit abstracts, including the continental committee of Africa and the national committees of Estonia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Some 30,000 new records were published online and on CD-ROM, an increase of 50% over all previous years. RILM’s new editorial database, iBis (Internet Bibliographic Indexing System), was used for all editorial work at the International Center, and national committees began to use it as well. In addition, RILM’s recent retrospective volume, Speaking of music: Music conferences, 1835-1966, received several excellent reviews. Usage of the online database increased significantly, and the RILM website was redesigned with the goal of making information about RILM easier to find. And lastly, RILM hosted its first international musicological conference this year, held at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in March 2005.

Committees: ILM continues to be available electronically through five vendors: CSA, EBSCO, NISC, OCLC, and Ovid. Each adds value to RILM online and on CD-ROM with features such as links to full-text journal articles (including JSTOR), library holdings, local library catalogues, interlibrary loan, and document delivery services. Hotlinks are also provided for easy searching in many fields: authors, journals, subject headings, and more. Other features include the ability to export records formatted for bibliographic managers such as Procite and Endnote, alert services that send new records in a user’s area of interest to their e-mail accounts on a regular basis, and cross-database searching with other humanities databases. For a list of features offered by each vendor, see the RILM website (Access). Here are a few highlights of recent changes and improvements:

CSA: Early in 2005, CSA released an entirely new and improved interface called Illumina, through which RILM can be searched.

EBSCO: EBSCO recently released RIPM, which can now be searched along with RILM. RILM via EBSCOhost is slated for improved OpenURL compliancy allowing for better access to library holdings. Given the amount of non-journal content in RILM, this feature will improve interaction with linking services (LinkSource, SFX), as well as directly within EBSCOhost for users of EBSCO’s CustomLinks technology.

NISC: Last year, NISC made a number of changes in response to feedback from the session on RILM at the Music Library Association conference in Washington, D.C., including lateral searching (that is, the ability to click on certain terms in a record to launch a new search without having to go back to the search screen), and the inclusion of author names in keyword searches. NISC publishes RILM, RIPM, and RISM, as well as IPM (Index to Printed Music: Collections & Series).

OCLC: OCLC released RIPM online this year, which can be searched together with RILM. Records are linked with library holdings through OCLC’s WorldCat.

Ovid: By the end of 2005, RIPM will also be available on Ovid and can be searched together with RIPM. Ovid’s production group has made improvements to the way RILM files are processed, enabling them to launch updates more quickly.

RILM’s data are now stored as Unicode; all diacritical marks are coded for accurate display in our electronic and print publications. As soon as our vendors are able to accept data in this format, RILM is ready to provide it to them.

Old Data Cleanup: RILM’s data from 1967 through 1988—which were in an older format created in a long-outdated database system—has been reformatted, with the help of NISC, and loaded into iBis. This marks the first time in RILM’s history that all of its data are in the same format and under the same database control. Cleanup work is now underway at the International Center to improve consistency throughout the database.

Speaking of music: Music conferences, 1835-1966: This volume, published last year as volume 4 in the RILM Retrospective Series, documents over 6,000 published papers on musical topics that were presented at 496 conferences held between 1835 and 1966. The book includes music-related items from conferences devoted to nonmusical topics such as psychology or folklore, and it fully covers meetings devoted exclusively to music. Each entry includes a bibliographic citation and abstract; detailed indexes are organized by topics and authors as well as by conference locations and sponsors. Reflecting myriad currents of thought from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century—the heyday of Romanticism, the advent of Modernism, the rise and fall of Marxism, and the emergence of multiculturalism, to name just a few—the book provides a window on intellectual history through the prism of music. Several reviews have been published to date, from which the following excerpts are drawn:

Speaking of music now emerges as a dominant voice in retrospective indexing of congress reports and papers on musical topics. It. . . offers scope of coverage, organization, and special features clearly superior to its two major predecessors.” Manuel Erviti, review in Notes: Quarterly journal of the music library association, 62:1 (September 2005), 106-07.

“This book far surpasses its precursors. . . . Scholars studying the history of music scholarship will dig deeply into the listings, making the set essential.” D.W. Krummel, review in ChoiceReviews, May 2005.

Speaking of music. . . draws a detailed picture of the genesis and development of the discipline, and its role in universal culture.” János Kárpáti, review in Magyar zene, 43:2 (May 2005), 229-31. Translated by André Balog.

“The hours slip by simply browsing the material. . . those looking beyond the surface of the world’s incredibly varied banquet of music will gain easy access to specialized knowledge and discourse from this marvelous compendium of reflection, thought and ideas.” James Wegg, review in James Wegg review. www.jamesweggreview.orgAugust 2004.

Music’s intellectual history: Founders, followers, and fads: RILM organized and hosted a major international conference at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in March 2005. By all accounts, the four-day event was a great success. Ninety papers, representing an impressive range of topics, eras, and approaches, were given by scholars from more than 20 countries. The final program for the conference can be viewed online (conference program). RILM expects to publish many of the papers in a proceedings volume.

Staff of the International Center: There have been some changes in the staff of the International Center this year. Most notably, Carl Skoggard, who had been an editor at RILM for over 30 years and attended a number of IAML conferences, retired in the spring.

Lenore Coral: The year was marked with major loss, too: RILM, and the musicological and library communities in general, lost a stalwart and devoted colleague in March when Lenore Coral succumbed to cancer. Lenore, one of the heads of the large RILM family, was diagnosed with cancer late in the summer of 2004. She battled the disease with all the strength and determination she possessed—and she always had significantly more than the usual quota of both. Among her many projects and accomplishments, Lenore was the founder and chair of the national RILM committee of the United States. Lenore had a remarkably quick and perceptive mind, sometimes a sharp tongue, and always a warm heart. Her motivations were always of the highest order. She cared a great deal about RILM, devoting much of her time and energy to it, and RILM is far better for this. Her contributions have been enormous, beginning in 1966 when RILM was founded and ending just the day before she died, when—during a bedside visit—she was eager to hear about the latest goings on at RILM and quick to offer advice. She was fully engaged in the work of RILM from its inception right up to the end of her remarkable life.

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie