RIPM (Le Répertoire international de la presse musicale) was founded in 1980 under the auspices of the International Musicological Society (IMS) and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML), with a mission to preserve and to provide access to eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century periodical literature dealing with music, and to facilitate and encourage research based on the press. While the importance of this immense body of literature has long been recognized, RIPM represents the first effort to undertake and to coordinate retrospective periodical indexing on an international scale.
Until now, RIPM has focused its attention on periodicals that reflect the European concert tradition, producing online the Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals with Full Text, and North American and European Music Periodicals (Preservation Series, Full Text). Collectively these databases provide access to near four hundred music journals and to more than 1,150,000 full-text pages.
Just as the development of the European concert music tradition coincided with the parallel development of a related periodical literature, the same can be said of jazz. But while much attention over the past forty years has focused on preserving and making accessible periodicals dealing with the European concert music tradition, the treatment of historical jazz journals has, until today, remained conspicuously absent. With the first installment of RIPM Jazz Periodicals, RIPM brings to the fore this remarkable, often neglected documentary resource.
RIPM’s experience and successful track record make it the appropriate candidate to take on this formidable task, for several reasons: (i) the technology RIPM has developed for the RIPM Preservation Series is well suited to treating jazz periodicals; (ii) RIPM’s extensive experience in digitizing and delivering accessible journals online; (iii) RIPM’s partnership with the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, which holds the most extensive collection of jazz periodicals in the world; (iv) its access to the periodicals in its Partners and Participating Libraries program; and (v) RIPM’s track record since 1986, of ongoing regular publications and consistent updates.
For more information see www.ripm.org.