From the time of his earliest proposal for creating RILM, Barry S. Brook (above) had a vision that “scholars working on specific research projects will eventually be able to request a bibliographic search by the computer of its stored information and to receive an automatically printed-out reply.”
RILM was too small to implement this task alone, so in 1979—long before the Internet was commercialized in the 1990s—it made an agreement with Lockheed Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, a division of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, for the distribution of its data through the telephone lines.
In August 1979, the first month when RILM was available on the Lockheed platform, the database was searched 176 times by 24 users, earning $84.94 (see inset; click to enlarge).
Today, on the 40th anniversary of its Lockheed connection, RILM’s databases are searched online 16.5 million times per month.
In 2014 Bärenreiter and J. B. Metzler, the publishers of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), entered a long-term partnership with RILM. MGG Online will include the content of the 1994–2008 print edition of MGG as well as future updates, revisions, and additions.
Regular updates will guarantee that MGG remains musicology’s foremost reference work. All entries from this widely consulted and cited encyclopedia will be accessible to users through the new online database beginning in 2017.
Bärenreiter and J. B. Metzler will remain responsible for MGG’s content and will ensure that MGG Online continues to offer up-to-date and authoritative articles. RILM will bring its expertise to bear on the design of the online database and the creation of a user-friendly platform that will be fully equipped with the most advanced search and browse capabilities.
With its broad international experience, RILM will also be responsible for the worldwide marketing of MGG Online. Subscription details for libraries and other users will be issued soon.
More information is here (English) and here (German).
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