International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres

The International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML), also known as Association Internationale des Bibliothèques, Archives et Centres de Documentation Musicaux (AIBM) and Internationale Vereinigung der Musikbibliotheken, Musikarchive und Musikdokumentationszentren (IVMB), is an organisation of libraries with music departments, music conservatory libraries, radio and orchestra archives, university institutes, music documentation centers, music publishers, and music dealers that fosters international cooperation and promotes music bibliography and music library science.[1] It was founded in Paris in 1951[2] and its three official languages are English, German, and French.


IAML was founded after World War II to "promote international cooperation and standardization in such matters as cataloging, standards of service, personnel training and the exchange of materials between libraries."[3] The founding of IAML was a three-year process from 1949 to 1951. It was part of the United Nations' mission to promote world peace. The founding conferences were held in Basel and Florence in 1949, in Lüneburg in 1950, and in Paris in 1951, the last one conducted by UNESCO.[4]

The Accademia Nazionale Luigi Cherubini celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1949, an event that brought around 60 music librarians, musicologists, and museum professionals from twelve countries to Florence.[5] This was the first meeting of music librarians from around the world; plans for a separate organization had been discussed since the founding of the International Musicological Society in 1927, but the Second World War prevented anything from taking shape.[6] The war had caused heavy losses at many libraries, and international cooperation was of utmost importance.

The goals of the Florence conference included updating the status and locations of the musical sources described in Robert Eitner's [de] Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten der christlichen Zeitrechnung bis zur Mitte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1900–1904), establishing a central office in each country responsible for microfilming musical sources from before 1800, and addressing issues related to music cataloging.[5] The first goal was realized in 1952 with the founding of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales.

In 1951, IAML had 120 participants from 23 countries, by 1952 their membership had grown to 230.[7] Membership grew to about 1,100 members in 39 countries in 1969[8] and 1,850 members in 40 countries in 1991,[1] with national branches in 26 countries as of 2017.

IAML has professional sections, subject sections, study group, and project groups that focus on particular aspects of music librarianship and documentation. Two professional organizations, the International Association of Music Information Centres and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives began as IAML groups but later formed their own organizations.[3]


The IAML board of directors is made up of the president, past president, secretary general, treasurer, and vice presidents.[9] The board governs IAML together with a Council (which includes representatives from national branches and professional sections) and the General Assembly.

IAML is affiliated with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the International Music Council, and the IMS.[9]


IAML holds annual conferences and has implemented four main programmes, together known as the "R projects" of musicology: Répertoire international des sources musicales (RISM), Répertoire international de littérature musicale (RILM), Répertoire international d'iconographie musicale (RIdIM) and Répertoire international de la presse musicale (RIPM). IAML publishes a journal, Fontes Artis Musicae, with articles on music librarianship and bibliography as well as reports on IAML conferences and on the progress of the "R projects".[1]

Annual Conferences

IAML holds annual meetings in different locations around the world. Occasionally, meetings are held jointly with other professional organizations. After the founding meetings held from 1949-1951, annual meetings commenced in 1954.[5]

Répertoire international des sources musicales

RISM was founded in 1953 and deals with the bibliography of sources in music and music literature from Greek antiquity up to 1800.

Répertoire international de littérature musicale

RILM, founded in 1966, covers music literature through two online databases: RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, which extends from 1967 to the present, and RILM Retrospective Abstracts of Music Literature (RILM Retro), which covers literature from before 1967.

Répertoire international d'iconographie musicale

RIdIM, founded in 1971, deals with visual materials relating to music.

Répertoire international de la presse musicale

RIPM, founded in 1980, preserves, reconstructs, and makes available music periodicals originally published from ca. 1760 to 1966. By 2014, RIPM has indexed 215 music periodicals, published 306 printed volumes and a database of more than 726,000 annotated citations. Furthermore, through the RIPM Online Archive and e-Library, RIPM has made available 166 music journals in full-text.


  1. ^ a b c Wedgeworth, Robert, ed. (1993). World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services. American Library Association. ISBN 9780838906095.
  2. ^ Prytherch, Raymond John, ed. (2005). Harrod's Librarians' Glossary and Reference Book. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9781409486152.
  3. ^ a b Anders Lönn, "International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition, 2002, vol. 12, p. 491. ISBN 0-333-60800-3
  4. ^ Turbet, Richard, ed. (2003). Music Librarianship in the United Kingdom. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754605720.
  5. ^ a b c Geering, Mireille (1991). "Geschichte und Gegenwart der AIBM". Forum Musikbibliothek. 3: 197–212.
  6. ^ Pleßke, Hans-Martin (1972). "Geschichte und Funktion der Internationalen Vereinigung der Musikbibliotheken (IVMB)". Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen. 86 (6): 352–359.
  7. ^ "Chronology, 1949-2016". IAML. February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Wood, Thor E. (June 1959). "The International Association of Music Libraries". Notes. 25 (4): 697–699. JSTOR 896620.
  9. ^ a b Meinhold, Alexandra (2010). World Guide to Library, Archive, and Information Science Associations. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 28–30. ISBN 9783110226379.

External links

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