Vol. 13 No. 1 (2022): The Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem

The bibliographic control of music in the digital ecosystem. The case of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB)

Klaus Kempf
Independent consultant – formerly Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Published 2022-01-13


  • Cataloging music sources in Germany,
  • German authority files in musicology and music sources,
  • Digitization of music sources

How to Cite

Kempf, Klaus. 2022. “The Bibliographic Control of Music in the Digital Ecosystem. The Case of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB)”. JLIS.It 13 (1):368-73. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12753.


The BSB’s music department (entrusted since 1949 with the management of the national information service on music) is one of the largest music libraries in the world in terms of the size and quality of its collection, but also in terms of the breadth and depth of its collection acquisition policy. The various materials are widely catalogued and indexed in a very articulate way, using a wide range of catalogues and according to specific rules. The BSB currently uses the RDA and MARC21, according to national policies.
The Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND), the authority files of the German-speaking library world, are used both in cataloguing and in subject classification. The GND is nowadays used even outside the library world by archives, museums and other kinds of institutions, as well as for the cataloguing of websites.
The BSB participates in the RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) international online catalogue of music sources, and, together with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, manages its OPAC.
The presentation will describe these projects, as well as the cataloguing workflow, the application of the RDA in specific cases, the special rules (and cataloguing system) for personal archives and musical legacies (RNA), and finally the futuristic service ‘musiconn’. This last service is included in the national service for music information Fachinformationsdienst Musikwissenschaft and has been developed by the BSB: it offers the possibility to search by melody, as part of a project based on Optical Music Recognition (OMR), a software tool that allows automatic recognition of compositions after they are printed.


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