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Summary of Activities, 2009-10

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

The year for RILM has been marked by solid productivity and a number of new challenges and initiatives. From 1 July 2009 through 18 June 2010, 37,295 main records and 3425 reviews were added to the database and 32,482 records were fully edited. The national committees submitted more records in this period than they ever have before, and author submissions increased significantly as well. In early autumn Music’s intellectual history was published, a volume of 66 articles first presented at RILM’s historiography conference in 2005. Consolidation among RILM’s online distributors has continued, with the result that RILM now has two, reduced from five two years ago: EBSCO and ProQuest. Subscriptions are up slightly, and RILM launched a blog this year that is steadily gaining readers.

Committees: The contribution of national committees reached its highest level this year (1 July 2009 to 18 June 2010), totaling 19,444 new bibliographic main records (last year: 16,494) and 1364 review records (last year: 456), for the grand sum of 20,808 new records in the database (last year: 16,950). Interestingly, while the number of submissions grew substantially, fewer abstracts were included with these records compared with last year: 12,038 (last year: 13,108). This is the result, at least in part, of the practice of a number of committees to key in bibliographic citations of publications first, and then to come back later and add abstracts, a practice that should contribute to the database’s currency. Germany submitted over 5800 records this year, and China almost 5000. Russia added over 2000 records, the U.S. over 3200, and Poland almost 1000 this year. Committees submitting over 500 records each include Austria and Japan, and many other countries submitted between 300 and 500 (Croatia, Czech Republic, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, and the United Kingdom). Those national committees from smaller countries that steadfastly contribute abstracts of their important publications to RILM are every bit as valuable, and RILM acknowledges and thanks all of them. The national committees are at the core of the RILM project. Without them, one of the strongest aspects of the database—its international coverage—would be far more limited indeed. For a list of all RILM committees and their members, see the global network page.

In addition to national committee submissions, more authors are adding abstracts of their writings directly to RILM using the submissions forms on the RILM website (the global network page, as the following chart shows:

July 2009—June 20101615728391
July 2008—June 200959533083

RILM has begun a campaign aimed at encouraging authors to submit abstracts of their own writings. The more authors submit their own abstracts, the more the efforts of RILM’s national committees will be aided, and the better RILM’s coverage will be. With this in mind, the submissions process is very easy now; authors can log into the system on the RILM website (creating a login takes only a minute or two), where they can see which of their publications are in RILM and which are missing. They can add new abstracts to already existing records (in English or in any other language) or they can key in new records quickly. Take a few moments to check that all of your publications are in RILM, and please encourage your colleagues to do so too. RILM is now searched between 150,000 and 200,000 times every week, and the presence of your publications and those of your colleagues ensures that researchers around the world will be able to discover your work.

As always, the RILM International Center in New York does its best to add publications not contributed by the national committees or authors as much as possible given limited resources. This year 16,236 main records and 1670 reviews originated at the International Center. However, because the Center has little access, if any, to publications in many countries, the only way to ensure their representation in RILM is with local help. To this end, RILM would like to establish new committees in countries that do not actively participate at present, and to add contributors to committees that are not able to keep up with their country’s publications. If you would like to become involved in the RILM project or know of colleagues who might be interested in doing so—or if you just want to find out more about what this involves—please contact Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie at or Zdravko Blažeković (

Innovation @ RILM

Bibliolore: RILM is now blogging! Simply by virtue of what we do, RILM editors have a unique perspective on music literature, and we launched Bibliolore ( for sharing our observations with people who find them interesting and relevant to their work. We have been blogging since October 2009, with 10 to 12 posts each month. Topics include things of particular interest to music librarians—resources, publication types, new periodicals, new series—and items of more general interest: unusual studies that arouse our curiosity or make us smile. An example of the former is our recent post on the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project sponsored by the Donald C. Davidson Library at U.C. Santa Barbara (; an example of the latter is currently our most re-blogged and tweeted post, “Mozart’s flyswatter” ( As we expected, Bibliolore’s content is naturally evolving based on what the community proves to find most useful. It has already found a clear niche: Increasingly, other music and music library blogs are linking to it, and at least one librarian has gone on record as calling it “by far the coolest thing on music on the Internet.”

Facebook: RILM continues to have a Facebook page, developed in an effort to increase communication with our users and contributors. To find the page, go to and search for RILM. There you will find information about RILM, as well as an RSS feed from our website and a link to our bookmarks on (these bookmarks are the websites RILM staff find most useful). If you choose to become a “fan” of RILM, you will automatically receive updates when there is news to report. Most of all, we hope the page encourages dialogue with our users about accessing and navigating the database. There is a box at the top of the page where you can write comments, feedback, suggestions, or questions. RILM staff members are monitoring and responding to these communications, and other fans can also join in the discussions.

RILM online

As mentioned, RILM is available now through EBSCO and ProQuest. EBSCO purchased the license to many of OCLC’s FirstSearch databases (including RILM) earlier in the year, and RILM terminated its relationship with Ovid as of early January 2010. If you were a FirstSearch subscriber to RILM, you have been, or will be, migrated to the EBSCOhost platform. If you were an Ovid subscriber, you need to change your subscription to EBSCO or ProQuest. The RILM International Center stands ready to help any subscriber with the transition. Please contact RILM’s Subscriptions Director Heather Brown (, with any questions or requests.

Online usage: RILM’s online distributors report monthly usage statistics to us, and these reports have shown steadily increasing usage in recent years, and particularly in the 2009-10 year. From 1 July 2009 to 31 May 2010 (we do not have June’s statistics yet) usage was up almost 40%.

Russian publications: In honor of this year’s IAML conference in Moscow, note that Russia has been a steadfast partner in the RILM project since RILM began in the 1960s, contributing to date over 20,000 records and abstracts representing Russia’s music literature. These records are all published in RILM online, and many now contain citation information and abstracts in both Cyrillic and English. Many thanks to Emilia Rassina and her team at the Moscow Conservatory and Tamara Lapteva and her team at the Russian State Library for their ongoing work to ensure RILM’s Russian coverage.

RILM in print

Liber Amicorum: Festschriften for music scholars and nonmusicians, 1840-1966: This volume, the fifth in the RILM Retrospectives Series, was published last summer. It presents abstracts and indexes for some 3880 articles from 715 Festschriften published in honor of music scholars and nonmusicians.

Music’s intellectual history: This volume, containing 66 articles, was published last autumn, and it inaugurates the RILM Perspectives Series. Authors include such notable scholars as Theodore Albrecht, Anna Maria Busse Berger, Ivano Cavallini, Nicholas Cook, Timothy J. Cooley, Ruth I. DeFord, Marco Di Pasquale, Florence Gétreau, Niels Krabbe, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Philippe Vendrix, and many more. The volume, which is 951 pages long, is divided into the following chapters:

  • Historiography and its methodology
  • Personalities: Music scholars
  • Personalities: Reception of composers
  • National studies
  • Periodicals
  • Encyclopedias and reference books

RILM Commission Mixte

In 2008, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) joined IAML and IMS as RILM’s third sponsoring body. As of last week, ICTM had completed the appointments of all four of its representatives. Here are the current members, officers, and terms of the RILM Commission Mixte:


NameOfficerTERM 1TERM 2
Jim CassaroVice President (2008-12)2008-12 
Richard Chesser 2008-12 
Thomas Leibnitz* 2008-12 
Martie Severt 2004-082008-12

*Thomas Leibnitz was appointed last summer to fulfill the first term of Wolfgang Krueger, who passed away in the spring of 2009.


NameOfficer & TermTERM 1
Joseph Peters 2009-12
Yu Siu Wah 2009-12
Richard Kent Wolf 2010-12
Maria Elizabeth da
Silva Lucas


NameOfficerTERM 1TERM 2
Philippe VendrixPresident (2008-12)2004-082008-12
Dinko Fabris 2008-12 
David Fallows 2004-082008-12
Chris Walton 2004-082008-12

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie