Répertoire international de la presse musicale

Répertoire international de la presse musicale (Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, Internationales Repertorium der Musikzeitungen), commonly known as RIPM, provides access to music periodical literature published between 1750 and 1966 through an annotated index, the RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals and two full-text publication series, the RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals and the RIPM e-Library of Music Periodicals.


Founded in 1980 by H. Robert Cohen with the collaboration of Marcello Conati, Elvidio Surian, and Christoph-Helmut Mahling, RIPM is one of the four Répertoires (or "R" projects) established by the International Musicological Society (IMS) and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML); these include Le Répertoire international des sources musicales (RISM), Le Répertoire international de littérature musicale (RILM), and Le Répertoire international d’iconographie musicale (RIdIM). RIPM was established by these societies to address two problems: (1) the limited availability of the journals themselves, as most are found in very few libraries and in incomplete runs and/or poor physical condition, and (2) the difficulty in accessing content in a journal once a copy has been located.

RIPM profits from a network of scholars, librarians, and archivists in more than 20 countries and maintains an editorial headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland (the RIPM International Center). To collect and complete runs of journals, RIPM works with a network of partner and participating libraries in the United States and Europe. With only rare exceptions, RIPM makes available complete runs of music journals, many of which represent the only complete copy available anywhere.

The RIPM and RILM Collaboration

Together RIPM and RILM provide access to two hundred and fifty years of music periodical literature and are designed to complement each other chronologically.


The RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, available in print and as a database, began publication in 1988. To date, more than 300 volumes have appeared. These three-part publications consisting of annotated calendars (annotated tables of contents), keyword-in-context/author indexes, and introductory studies have generated much of the content of the Retrospective Index Online, a database of more than 725,000 highly annotated citations. All RIPM indexing is done in the language of the journal. As of August 2014, 215 music journals have been indexed.

The RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full Text) contains the full-text of journals indexed in the RIPM Retrospective Index. Linked directly from the Retrospective Index, the Archive contains complete runs of over 125 rare journals.

The RIPM e-Library of Music Periodicals is a searchable collection of full-text music journals which will not be treated in the Retrospective Index or the Online Archive. Released in December 2013, the e-Library currently consists of 35 journals.

All RIPM publications are updated regularly. See list of Music Periodicals Treated by RIPM for a complete inventory.

Former Publication

The journal Periodica Musica was published between 1983 and 2005. A full run of the journal is available on RIPM’s website.

Selected bibliography

H. R. Cohen: “An Introduction to the Fourth “R”: Le Répertoire international de la presse musicale du dix-neuvième siècle (RIPMxix),” Periodica Musica 1 (1983): 1-2.

H. R. Cohen, “The Nineteenth-Century Press and the Music Historian: Archival Sources and Bibliographical Resources,” 19th-Century Music 7 (Fall 1983): 136-42.

H. R. Cohen, “On the Structure of the Repertory: RIPMxix Series A and Series B,” Fontes Artis Musicae 30 (1983): 66-68.

RIPMxix Commission Members, “Periodicals Selected for Priority Indexing. I: Western Europe, II: North America,” Periodica Musica 1 (Spring 1983)

H. R. Cohen, “RIPM: An Overview. A Paper Presented at the Conference of the Music Library Association, 6 March 1985,” Periodica Musica 3 (1985): 31-32.

H.R. Cohen and M. Conati: “Le Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale,” Acta Musicologica, lix (1987), 308–24

H. R. Cohen, “Le Répertoire international de la presse musicale (RIPM) et la Belgique,” Revue Belge de Musicologie 44 (1990): 177-89.

H. R. Cohen, “RIPM: A Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950),” Dokumenterat 33, Bulletin från Statens musikbibliotek (December, 2002): 7-11.

Veslemóy Heintz, “RIPM I Norden,” Dokumenterat 33, Bulletin från Statens musikbibliotek (December, 2002): 11-14.

H. R. Cohen, “RIPM: The First Twenty-Five Years,” Periodica Musica 10/11 (2005): 1-2.

M. Buja: “A Quarter-Century of Success: an Interview with H. Robert Cohen, Founder and Director of the Répertoire international de la presse musicale (RIPM),” Fontes Artis Musicae, liv (2007), 385–90

H.R. Cohen and B. Knysak: “RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (1800–1950),” Fontes Artis Musicae, liv (2007), 391–420

Reports delivered to the General Assembly at annual IAML congresses (1981-) and at the bi-decadal IMS congresses (1987-) are available on RIPM’s website.[1][2][3][4][5]


  1. Cohen, H. Robert (1983). "An Introduction to the Fourth "R"" (PDF). Periodica Musica. 1 (1): 1–2.
  2. "The RIPM-RILM Collaboration". ripm.org. RIPM. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
  3. "All RIPM Publications". ripm.org. RIPM. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
  4. Watanabe, Ruth (December 1981). "American Music Libraries and Music Librarianship: An Overview in the Eighties". Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association. 38 (2): 248.
  5. "Periodicals" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Oxford University Press. 2000.
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