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RIdIM is delighted to announce that an enhanced version of the database of music iconography is now available for cataloguers and researchers. To search please go directly to the RIdIM database.

If you would like to register as a cataloguer for RIdIM, please contact Dr. Debra Pring at the RIdIM International Office.

About the Database

The RIdIM database is designed to facilitate discovery of music, dance and theatre iconography images by registered researchers, and the description of such images by registered cataloguers. The database is web-based and platform independent, and access will be free of charge to scholars affiliated with academic institutions, galleries, museums, etc., as well as independent researchers.

Database records contain descriptions and images of visual objects featuring music, dance and theatre-related topics or content. Where images are not included, such as in the cases where copyright issues arise online sources for the artwork image are included. The scope of visual documents and artifacts contained in the database encompasses a wide spectrum of techniques and media (drawings, engravings, paintings, sculpture, etc.) and the content includes depictions of instruments, musicians, performers, music patrons, music notation, performance venues and more.

A powerful and flexible searching interface allows retrieval of works using both free-text keywords and controlled vocabulary terms. Examples of search access points include names of artists and musicians, musical instruments, titles (often in multiple languages), art media, date of creation and owning institutions (museums, archives, etc.).

The database is being designed to take advantage of current technology and support widely used concepts and standards for metadata, including those specially designed for art, music and iconography. Examples include:
  • Unicode text encoding
  • Repeatable fields for entering unlimited numbers of artists, titles, instruments, etc.
  • Controlled, centrally edited lists of artist and musician names, museum names, art media terms, geographic places and musical instruments, including the Hornbostel-Sachs instrument classification system
  • A rich controlled vocabulary for musical instruments, organized using the Hornbostel-Sachs instrument classification system
  • Free-text fields for entering descriptions, information on related art works, bibliographic references and various types of notes

For cataloguers, a detailed, field-by-field style guide provides examples and guidelines for metadata input standards, ranging from the basic required fields to the many optional detailed-level fields. As the database continues to develop and feedback from cataloguers is received, the guide will be updated and revised on an ongoing basis.

The development of the RIdIM database was made possible by a generous grant of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Association Répertoire International d'Iconographie Musicale, Badergasse 9, CH-8001 Zurich