OCLC First Search has recently republished the complete RILM data set formatted in XML. Data going back to 1967 (and to 1835 in the case of conference proceedings) are unified for the first time, greatly facilitating full-text linking. Other features that have become available thanks to the XML data include the display of all non-roman writing systems and original language abstracts, in addition to the ones in English. NISC and OVID users can expect a similar data upgrade in the coming months.
Winner of the 2006 Music Library Association’s Vincent H. Duckles Award for “best research tool in music”, the fourth publication in the RILM retrospectives series is now available online, extending the coverage of music conferences from 1835 to the present (a 172-year range). Work on this project was initiated by RILM’s founder, Barry S. Brook, in the 1960s, but it was discontinued for practical reasons and lay untouched until a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2003 enabled its completion. The list of abstractors reflects the cumulative process, encompassing Brook’s graduate students from the 1960s alongside RILM editors from the early 2000s. The project resulted in full bibliographic information, abstracts, and indexing for 5,948 articles from 511 books. Conferences can be browsed by using the congresses, conferences, symposia subject heading. The results can be narrowed down by using desired date ranges and also by using the meeting information (city/name/year) search option.
The new pricing of the volume is $145.00 for institutions (reduced 50%), $132.75 for agencies, and $65 for individuals. You can purchase it on this site.
RILM’s database now contains over 500,000 records in 23 document types, including electronic publications. With newly-established national committees in Africa, China, and Thailand, both the foundation and the size of the database continue to expand, and items published in non-Western countries are increasingly part of the mix. More detailed information on the cumulative data can be obtained through the scope page of the website.
At its meeting in Vienna on 3-4 July 2007 ICTM’s Executive Board accepted the invitation from RILM’s Commission Mixte to become RILM’s third sponsoring organization, joining the International Musicological Society and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres. While ethnomusicological publications have always been within RILM’s scope, ICTM’s involvement will bring a new level of awareness to the coverage of ethnomusicology. This change will be reflected in RILM’s reconstituted Commission Mixte, which serves as RILM’s board, providing advice and guidance to the International Center in New York and, by extension, to national committees which supply about half of the bibliographic records included in the database. From 2008 each sponsoring organization will appoint four members to RILM’s Commission Mixte.
In recent years RILM has significantly broadened its coverage of writings on music published in non-Western countries, striving to make its database truly global, representing scholarship on music anywhere in the world. ICTM members and national and regional committees will be extremely valuable in this effort, particularly by advising RILM about the organizing of RILM national committees in non-Western countries where ICTM membership is strong. Such collaboration will be beneficial for both the international scholarly community and for scholars in countries where RILM does not yet have committees.
Most of RILM’s national committees provide abstracts in the language of the publications they deal with. RILM has always published English translations of such abstracts; now these translations appear along with the original non-English abstracts, making many RILM abstracts accessible to users who are not fluent in English. Thanks to RILM’s new capability of displaying non-roman writing systems, abstracts written in such systems will also be available.
The need for precise search and browse strategies grows with the number of records in the database. To respond to this need and also to highlight search features that have recently become more powerful (thanks to the availability of the data in XML format) RILM is offering web-based tutorials. Upon demand, special topics can be explored during the tutorials. RILM encourages music librarians, faculty, and graduate and undergraduate classes to take advantage of this offer. Tutorials can be requested through this website.
RILM’s greatly improved data in XML format is now published by EBSCO and CSA. The XML format allows the display of all non-roman writing systems and the availability of double or multiple abstracts. Browsing by indexes such as document types or classes is also greatly improved thanks to the unification of all data going back to 1966, and in the case of conference proceedings back to 1835. The more granular data in XML format also provides the possibility of thousands of new full text links.
RILM has recently upgraded its web submission forms. Thanks to a link to the live database, contributors can browse the existing bibliography of an author before creating a new record. Contributors can also attach reviews to book records, add articles to collections, and provide new or revised abstracts. More detailed instructions can be found on the submissions page of this site.
RILM records are now capable of displaying all non-roman writing systems, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, and Thai, provided that the users have the corresponding character sets installed in their computers. The improved display capabilities are due to RILM’s compliance with Unicode (UTF 8), re-formatting of its data in XML going back to 1967 (and to 1835 in the case of conference proceedings), and the compliance of its vendors with the same requirements. Increasing numbers of non-roman titles, authors, publishers, and abstracts are being added to the database, greatly raising the applicable records’ level of linguistic specificity.
The production of annual printed volumes, originally RILM’s sole endeavor, ceases with volume XXXIII. The largest yet in a series of books stretching back to 1967, volume XXXIII documents 19,619 publications (all published in 1999), in 91 languages, from 81 countries. RILM online includes these records as well as all records in the database, which document publications from as far back as 1835 and as recently as April 2008. Future updates will appear online only. As annual printed volumes continued to increase in size, and researchers increasingly turned to electronic interfaces, it became clear that time and money spent on the production of printed volumes was better spent on improving RILM’s online presence. RILM continues, however, to issue new books in the RILM retrospectives series.