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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Computer-assisted retrospective periodical indexing in musicology : La Chronique Musicale as RIPMxix prototype Gíslason, Donald Garth


The music periodical literature of the 19th century has largely remained unavailable to musical scholarship due to a lack of adequate indexing. While several indexing efforts have been attempted in the past century, that proposed by the recently established Répertoire international de la presse musicale du dix-neuviéme siécle (RIPMxix) sets itself apart by its comprehensiveness and its use of computer technology. This thesis tests the new system by preparing a prototype RIPMxix Series A catalogue of a major 19th-century French music journal, La Chronique Musicale (1873-1876). The prototype is in five parts: 1) a Title Catalogue, or chronological checklist of the titles, authors and pagination of all sections in the journal; 2) an Iconography Appendix, listing the captions, dimensions and pagination of all iconography in the journal; 3) a List of Variants, giving alternate pagination references in copies of the journal held by selected major institutions; 4) a Keyword Index of important words contained in article titling; and 5) an Author Index. The indexing of La Chronique Musicale was carried out according to the regulations established in the RIPMxix Series A Guidelines, incorporating minor improvements in presentation, and adjudicating certain indexing situations not addressed in them. A data entry system was developed and the typescript catalogue was entered into computer file space. Detailed formatting based on the general design presented in the RIPMxix Series A Guidelines was specified for the Title Catalogue, Iconography Appendix and List of Variants. To produce the remaining portions of the prototype (viz., the Keyword and Author Indexes), design options were studied, specific designs adopted and detailed formatting established. Production of the prototype involved the development of three computer programmes: a single programme for the Title Catalogue, Iconography Appendix and List of Variants; a separate programme for the Keyword Index; and a third programme for the Author Index. It is concluded that the title-derivative approach taken by the RIPMxix system is a valid one, and suggestions are made for further research.

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