So you’ve begun your research project with some preliminary research (hopefully starting with the great Oxford Music Online database), but now you need some more recent literature from the latest journal issues on your topic. Luckily, the Flatland Music Library has you covered!
The Flatland Music Library subscribes to several databases that index and abstract thousands of scholarly journals. A quick look at our web site will show direct links to the most often used databases. Here is what you will find and what you should know about each resource:
JSTOR (Journal STORage) is a digital library containing digitized academic journals from over 900 publishers with over 1,900 journal titles. Subjects go beyond just music into several other academic disciplines from the natural sciences to the fine arts and humanities. JSTOR originally restricted its collection to back-issues of journals, but now includes current issues as well as various books and primary sources. For the music student, JSTOR is a great database for nearly any research project, especially those of an interdisciplinary slant due to the variety of subjects covered.
The Music Index
Music Index, by Halmonie Park Press, is a database that indexes abstracts and articles from over 475 serial publications, as well as book reviews, obituaries, and news. This database is an excellent tool due to its indexing of popular press and journals. The Music Index, however, does not contain full-text items, though some database entries will link to full-text articles available through the library. Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for help!
RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale – International Repertory of Music Literature) is a bibliography of writings relating to music with an international flavour – publications vary in 214 languages from over 146 countries. The content is limitless in its variety – ranging from popular music to ethnomusicology to music education and theory. RILM is an excellent database to search for just about every research project.
IIMP – International Index to Music Periodicals
IIMP indexes and abstracts hundreds of music journals from over 20 countries and contains full-text articles as well. IIMP is an excellent database for the most up-to-date publications, though its archives go back to 1874! IIMP is a must-visit database for any research project.
Hints and Tips
Searching databases and finding the right resources can be a difficult and frustrating task. Knowing where to start takes time and experience. It doesn’t help that many databases contain different and complicated search tools. If your research is taking you nowhere and you are getting frustrating finding that right article, do not hesitate to ask a librarian to assist you in your research.