RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text)

By Mantz, Stephen L. | Notes, June 2010 | Go to article overview
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RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text)

Mantz, Stephen L., Notes

RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text). Baltimore, MD: RIPM Publications. (Accessed November 2009-January 2010). [H. Robert Cohen, founder and director, RIPM; Benjamin Knysak, coordinator, RIPM Online Archive. Annual institutional subscription, based on FTE: $1347-$4144. Also available from EB-SCO Publications. Annual institutional subscription, $l,350-$4,200. Please note that pricing may vary depending on consortium agreements, number of databases to which an institution is subscribed, and other factors.]

Over the years since the first RIPM (Repertoire international de la presse musicale) volumes were published in 1988, librarians and researchers have rejoiced at having bibliographic access to many of the music periodicals of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Hours of leafing through a journal's issues, page by page, have been avoided. Yet, as a user finds a needed piece of information in the index, his or her joy is often abruptly mitigated as he or she asks the next question, "Where can I get this article?" In most cases, only a few libraries hold the needed title, and many of those holdings are incomplete. Interlibrary loan requests and the consultation of microfilms have been the normal courses of action. As one writer noted, "there is something frustrating in having the elegant volumes of RIPM lining the shelves of your reference library, reminding you of what you lack" (Kerry Murphy, "[Review of] Hector Berlioz, La critique musicale 1823-1X63, Vol. I: 1823-1834," Journal of the Royal Music Association 123, no. 1 [1998]: 108). This frustration is especially acute as technology advances and digitization efforts multiply.

The RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text) meets the needs of twenty-first-century researchers by providing immediate access to digital images of the periodicals themselves. The plan is to digitize and make available online as many of the periodicals that RIPM indexes as possible, though copyright restrictions may prevent some twentieth-century journals from being included. The online archive is accessed through the RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950), essentially adding the index to the number of full-text indexes available in the arts and humanities. Core funding for the development of the online archive was provided by two successive two-year grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Released in May 2009, the initial installment of periodicals in the archive contains fifty-one journals in ten languages published between 1805 (Berlinische Musikalische Zeitung) and 1962 (The Juilliard Review). New titles are to be added every six months; the January installment will add the content of ten more journals. Although many of the titles in this initial release are periodicals of short runs, this installment also includes titles of major importance, such as Dwight's Journal of Music and La revue musicale. A full listing of the titles in the online archive is available at the RIPM Web site (

The online archive is drawn from the archive of music periodicals that RIPM indexes. Original copies, reprints, microforms, and photocopies are all used to compile complete runs of titles. Those materials not available in the RIPM archive are supplied in large part by the libraries participating in RIPM's Library Partner Program. Currently, libraries from seven institutions participate in the program: Curtis Institute of Music, Harvard Musical Association, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Eastman School of Music, University of Maryland, and Yale University. Approximately twenty-five other libraries have also contributed materials.

Although the images produced from these materials are archival-quality grayscale images, the items themselves are not necessarily in pristine condition. These materials reflect those that you might find in a typical library collection, with the occasional and regrettable underlining and margin notes, stains, ink bleed-through, fold marks, or microfilm scratches.

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RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text)


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