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Music: RISM

Music resources at Colby and other great web resources for music research.

What is RISM

RISM: Article in Grove Music Online

RISM : Repertoire internationale des sources musicales

International inventory of musical sources.

Established in 1952, RISM is an ongoing inventory of the universe of musical literature created prior to 1800.

  • pre-19th century books on music

  • manuscript treatises on music

  • theoretical writings from a variety of sources on music

  • printed music

  • printed music collections

  • music in manuscipt form.

Citations include a complete description of the material, and the library/archival location at which these unique resource materials can be found.

RISM is currently administered as a joint production of the RISM Zentralredaktion at Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and the U.S. RISM Office at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

RISM: International International Inventory of Musical Sources

These are the resources to date.


  • The RISM Online Catalog contains over 1,000,000 entries, mainly manuscripts from between the years 1600 and 1850. There are also ca. 100,000 entries for printed music published up to 1800 by a single composer and printed collections published between 1500 and 1550. Even though the emphasis of manuscript cataloging is on the years 1600-1850, you will find both older and newer sources in the online catalog. The online catalog contains all of series A/I, A/II, and years 1500-1550 of B/I.

RISM Online: Abbreviations of secondary sources cited

RISM: Series A

RISM: Series B

  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.1
    Recueils imprimés XVIe-XVIIe siecles = Music collections published 1500-1701.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.2
    Recueils imprimés XVIIIe siecle = Music collections published 1701-1800.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.3, parts 1-5
    Theory of Music from the Carolingian Era up to 1400.
  • Pt. 1: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark France, Luxembourg, Netherlands
  • Pt. 2: Italy
  • Pt. 3: up to 1500 in Germany
  • Pt. 4: Great Britain and the U.S.
  • Pt. 5: Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Spain
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.4, parts 1-2 and supplement
    Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music, 11th-early 14th century.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.4, parts 3-4
    Handschriften mit mehrstimmiger Musik des 14., 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts = 14th - 16th Century Music Manuscripts Located Throughout Europe.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.4, part 5
    Manuscrits de musique polyphonique: XVe et XVIe siecles, Italie: Catalogue.
  • BIXLER REF ML113.I6 Ser. B, v.5, part 1
    Tropen- und Sequenzen-handschriften = Manuscripts of Tropes and Sequences.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.6, parts 1-2
    Ecrits imprimés concernant la musique = Comprehensive Bibliography of Writings on Music Printed Before 1800.
  • BIXLER REF ML113 .I6 Ser. B, v.7
    Handscriftlich überlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts = Descriptive Catalog of Pre-1820 Manuscript Music for Lute, Guitar and other Plectoral Instruments.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.8
    Das Deutsche Kirchenlied: kritische Gesamtausgabe der Melodien = German Hymns: Complete Catalog of Melodies.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.9, part 1
    Hebrew Notated Manuscript Sources up to circa 1840: A Descriptive and Thematic Catalogue.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.9, part 2
    Hebrew Writings Concerning Music in Manuscripts and Printed Books from Geonic Times up to 1800.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.10
    The Theory of Music in Arabic Writings (c. 900-1900): Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts in Libraries of Europe and the USA.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.11
    Ancient Greek Music Theory: A Catalogue Raisonne of Manuscripts.
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.12
    Manuscrits persans concernant la musique: catalogue
  • BIXLER REF ML113. I6 Ser. B, v.14, pt.1
    Les Manuscrits du Processionnal

RISM Directory of Libraries and Library Sigla

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