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Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM, Deutsche Quellen)

Links to the project

The task of the project is the acquisition of sources in Germany from approx. 1600 to the middle of the 19th century, which are important for the music research. There are two departments in the German workgroup of RISM which regionally split up the source acquisition, on the one hand at the Saxon State and University Library Dresden and on the other hand at the Bavarian State Library.

The results from the project are directly catalogued into the database of the international RISM-Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt. The cataloguing of the sheet music (music prints until 1800, libretti until 1850) are considered nearly finished. Since the start of the project approx. 181,600 title registrations have been submitted to the RISM-Zentralredaktion for the publication in the diverse RISM series of print editions (printed music, theoretica, libretti). Still, the project continues to collect supplements, which are reported by libraries or which emerge during the work in progress. The focus of the work lies on the interpretation of the music manuscripts in German libraries and archives. Up to now, more than 520 collections have been edited, the results have been published via the monthly updated RISM-OPAC of the RISM-Zentralredaktion ( ). Currently (8/2021), 483,019 title registrations of manuscripts from German collections are documented in the RISM-OPAC (in total 1,060,347 worldwide).

RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales, Deutsche Quellen)

Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM, Deutsche Quellen)

Host Academy
Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz

Location and federal state
Munich, Bavaria; Dresden, Saxony

Music editions

Project number

Since 1979, the aim of the “Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale” (RIdIM) has been the analysis of works in visual arts and handicrafts, which are associated with music and dance or represent them. Within the international RISM-compound the department located at the Bavarian State Library Munich is responsible for the processing of the object inventory in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Due to the earlier territorial division of the country, exclusively objects out of collections from the old federate states were integrated into the database of the Munich RIdIM-department.

The result is a high backlog demand not only at big and art historically important public institutions, but also at smaller and medium-sized institutions. Currently, the inventory of the RIdIM-department comprises datasets of ca. 23,420 music-iconographically relevant displays from 150 museums, archives and libraries. 21,126 datasets exist in digital form, 20,900 of them are available online in the web database. Furthermore, 13,376 digital or digitalized images are at the department’s disposal for documentary purposes. With the permission of the institutions owning the image rights, 4,095 of those pictures are accessible via the web database.

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