Répertoire International des Sources Musicales

Arbeitsgruppe Deutschland e.V.

Arbeitsgruppe Deutschland e.V.

Perspectives on Cataloging Printed Music: Meeting with the German RISM Offices

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In mid-May 2024, the staff of the Munich and Dresden RISM offices came together for a meeting in Dresden. The main topic of several discussions and workshops was exploring new options when cataloging printed music.

One of the points of discussion, for example, was finding tools to describe images and illustrations found on title pages, an area where there are no guidelines in RISM yet. An introduction to classification in image description by Sophie Rölle from the German Digital Library provided fresh ideas. This insight into different ways of assigning keywords and describing images formed a starting point for further discussions on open questions regarding one potential use for printed music editions.

A tour through the Graphics Workshop of the Dresden Museum of Science and Technology’s Technical Collections led to a discussion of questions related to materiality and printing techniques. Torsten Leupold explained different printing processes, starting with book printing by Gutenberg and other letterpress techniques. The group was shown examples from lithography but the focus was on intaglio printing processes. Concrete insights into the practice of etching, copperplate engraving, aquatint, etc. offered the group new approaches to assessing printing techniques. Other methods of differentiation were discussed in conversations.

It was important for everyone involved to have this direct interaction because it is only seldom possible, given the physical separation of the two offices.

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