Association RIdIM
(Répertoire International d'Iconographie Musicale)

The Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM) was officially founded on 26 August 1971 as an international cataloguing and research network on the initiative of Barry S. Brook, Geneviève Thibault Comtesse de Chambure, Harald Heckmann, Howard Mayer Brown and Walter Salmen, and under the sponsorship of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML), the International Musicological Society (IMS) and the International Committee of Musical Instrument Museum Collections (CIMCIM) of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

As the international index of visual sources of music, dance, theatre and opera, RIdIM has pursued dual aims since its establishment: firstly, it is charged with the cataloguing of visual sources of subject matters referring to music, dance, theatre and opera; and, secondly, it functions as a framework for their interpretation. Thus, the main objective of RIdIM is the development of methods, means and research centres for the classification, cataloguing and study of iconographical sources related to music, dance, theatre and opera. It is designed to assist performers, historians, librarians, instrument makers, record manufacturers and book publishers, among others in making the fullest use of visual materials for scholarly and practical purposes.

All materials, support and assistance are offered free of charge in line with Association RIdIM’s belief in open access to scholarly information and expertise. Thus, Association RIdIM strongly supports and adheres to the principles of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Since the early 1970s, several systems of cataloguing visual materials have been proposed, but RIdIM took the lead in this area. The cooperative bibliographic ventures Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) and the Répertoire de la Littérature Musicale (RILM) were established in 1952 and 1966 respectively and thus the cataloguing initiative of RIdIM became the third important international cooperative bibliographical venture.

Association RIdIM fosters different types of collaborations such as including those with national RIdIM Research Centers and Working Groups and other public and private institutions and organisations dealing with topics of visual culture related to music, dance, theatre and opera.

Based on the unanimous decision of the Commission Mixte, the governing body of RIdIM until 2010, RIdIM was incorporated as a not-for-profit Association formed pursuant to Art. 60 & seq. of the Swiss Civil Code with its seat in Zurich (Switzerland) in 2011. The legal status as a not-for-profit association was approved by the public authority and thus Association RIdIM is the legal successor of RIdIM in all respects.

Further information:

Association RIdIM Website David playing the harp
David playing the harp
North French Miscellany, Northern France, c. 1278-98
BL Add. MS 11639, f. 117v
© The British Library Board