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 1760 to 1966. 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, access 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 today's readers a unique, near-daily chronicle of music and musical life. Accounts of first and significant performances, contemporary critical perceptions, issues of aesthetics, musical politics, performance practice, reception history and much more are found throughout the journals. Iconography — includes representations of composers, performers, instruments, opera stagings, concert halls —. Musical supplements to the journals 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 provide solutions to these long vexing issues.

Print Publications

RIPM in Print (released in 1988, ceased publication in 2016)

These three-part publications consist of highly annotated calendars, extensive keyword-in-context/author indexes and introductory studies. Three-hundred and eighteen volumes treating over 105 music periodicals were published.


Electronic Publications


RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1760-1966)

RIPM Retrospective Index was released online in 2000 and today its content is approaching 1,000,000 annotated records. It is updated every six months and contains indexes to complete runs of approximately 300 music periodicals.

RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals with Full Text (1760-1966)

If the dream of the 1980s and 1990s was to bring to light the contents of an immensely important and complex corpus of literature, today it is, understandably, to bring the literature itself to one’s desktop, in a coherent, accessible format and with the speed of a mouse click. Thus, after many years of preparation for the immense task of digitizing and placing online the vast majority of journals indexed by RIPM, the RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text) was released in May 2009. Today, it contains nearly 200 full-text periodicals, accessed through the RIPM Retrospective Index.

RIPM Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals

Released in January 2018, RIPM Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals is the first database collection in the new series. It contains 100 rare, full-text journals comprising some 540,000 pages. The periodicals in the collection deal extensively with musical life in the United States as well as in Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain and the U.K.—and include a number of monumental journals such as Musical America (New York, 1898-1922), Le Guide musical (Brussels, 1855-1919), the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung (Berlin, 1847-1896) and several early musicology periodicals.

RIPM Preservation Series: Jazz Periodicals (forthcoming)

This project has been untaken with the collaboration of the Institute of Jazz Studies of Rutgers University which houses the largest collection of jazz periodicals in the world. RIPM Jazz will initially contain 100 periodicals; the expected release date is 2018.