RIPM: Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale
(Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals)

image Founded in 1980, Le Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale (RIPM) provides access to periodical literature dealing with music from 1766 to 1962. While the importance of this monumental documentary resource has long been recognized, RIPM represents the first effort to undertake and to coordinate retrospective periodical collection, indexing, and dissemination on an international scale.

Specialized music journals — alone numbering more than 2,000 in the nineteenth century and some 4,500 by 1950 — constitute an important, primary documentary resource. The musical press offers readers of today a unique, near-daily chronicle of music and musical life. Accounts of first and significant performances, contemporary critical perceptions, aesthetics, musical politics, performance practice, and much more are found throughout the journals. Iconography — including representations of composers, performers, instruments, opera stagings, concert halls — often illustrate pages of the journals. Printed musical supplements appear with many issues, representing a trove of unexplored repertory.

Yet in spite of their importance, two problems have prevented these journals from being systematically collected and examined: (1) the limited number of libraries possessing the journals, and (2) the difficulty encountered when one attempts to locate specific information within an available source. RIPM's mission is to solve both of these problems.

The Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, available in print and online, offers access to content through detailed, highly-annotated indexing. Produced by internationally-recognized scholars and librarians worldwide, some 280 volumes and approaching three-quarters of a million database records treating 184 journals have been published.

The RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals provides access to the original journals in full-text. Linked directly from the Retrospective Index, the Archive contains over 100 rarely-available journals. To obtain material, RIPM maintains a network of partner and participating libraries in the United States and Europe. In many cases, copies made available by RIPM represent the only complete copy of a given journal anywhere.

The forthcoming E-Library of Music Periodicals will expand RIPM's full-text offerings to titles which, for a variety of reasons, will not appear in the Retrospective Index or the Online Archive.

For further information, please visit the RIPM website at