The RISM Series A/I CD-ROM

The CD-ROM of the RISM Series A/I: Individual prints before 1800 that we have acquired for the project is proving an invaluable resource for the cataloguing of our collections. The CD-ROM was released in 2011 and includes all entries listed in the printed volumes of the RISM Series A/I, but its electronic format makes it easy to search the database by terms such as the title of a work, publishers’ plate numbers, names of engravers, place of publication and other.

Apart from making it easier to find the RISM A/I numbers, included in all bibliographic records created for pre-1800 printed items, the CD-ROM is proving particularly useful for identifying editions in the collections that are lacking a title page, either due to imperfect copies held or due to the collection holding certain instrumental parts only of a publication which were issued without a title page.

Once such example in the Aylward collection was an item misbound with Thomas Arne’s Lyric Harmony, published by Harrison & Co with plate numbers 20-21 (AYL 4). Only pages 25-33 were held of this item, bearing the plate number 27. The edition concerned a set of concertos as evident from the headings of the 5th and 6th works, and from the similar engraving with Thomas Arne’s Lyric Harmony it was possible to see that the publisher was the same.

Just by doing a search on the RISM CD-ROM for Harrison & Co and plate number 27 it was instantly possible to find out that the pages were from Harrison & Co’s edition of Handel’s 6 organ concertos op. 7 (HWV 306-311), now catalogued as (AYL 4a).

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