General register of earlier music sources (1600–1850) preserved in the Republic of Slovenia

Collection description

About 6000 earlier manuscript music works survived in the territory of the present-day Slovenia. These, together with a number of extant earlier music prints, now form the general fund of the national early music heritage in Slovenia. Old music manuscripts stored in archives at various locations throughout the area of Slovenia were first inventorised at the Institute of Musicology in the form of a loose-leaf catalogue, containing around 1500 units. In 1993 the Institute joined the international documentation-musicology project RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales), based in Frankfurt-am-Main, which collects and presents such kinds of materials on an international basis within the series A I (Music Prints before 1800) and A II (Music Manuscripts 1600–1850). For this purpose a regional committee of RISM (the regional group for the inventory of manuscripts, seated at the Institute of Musicology) was founded in 1993 for the Republic of Slovenia. Since then the members of the Institute have continued to catalogue these materials within the most up-to date computer systems, and supplement documentation with additional contents. The results of the RISM project are accessible online: The work for RISM has no special financing and is performed as part of the infrastructure programme of the Institute of Musicology, as part of projects and program, and is at times supported by state and municipal grants.


At present music manuscripts from the following archives and libraries are included into the RISM database: the Cathedral of Ljubljana, The Franciscan monastery in Novo mesto and the Chapter of Novo mesto, Episcopal Archives of Koper, including the music from the Cathedral (SI-Kš), the Provincial Archives and the Central Library of Srečko Vilhar, both in Koper, Parish Archives of Piran, and the Minorite Monastery in Piran. In the future the Slovenian group intends to add information on manuscripts from the Provincial Archives of Maribor, the Cathedral of Maribor, Episcopal Archives of Maribor, the Franciscan Monastery of Ljubljana, the Library of Ivan Potrč and the Parish Archives of Ptuj, the Chapter of Celje, etc. Results of the inventory of the Slovenian materials, together with the results of the inventories of other participating countries, are available online:

History of the project: Slovenian musicology started to collaborate with RISM in the late 1950s, when François Lesure started to correspond with the Head of the Music collection of the National and University library in Ljubljana. The result of these first Slovenian endeavours was the list of early music prints for the RISM A/I and B/I–II collections. The collaboration continued in the 1960s by compiling records on theoretical treatises (later included in the B/VI RISM volumes) and Italian opera libretti. In 1967 the work for RISM in Slovenia was taken over by Ivan Klemenčič and it intensified in the direction of cataloguing music manuscripts. By 1967 seven libraries and archives were included in the process of cataloguing. Up to 1980 about 1300 items were recorded in the traditional card index. With Klemenčič’s change of job, the RISM group for Slovenia moved in the 1980s to the Institute of Musicology where the cataloguing of music manuscripts continued, first in the form of fish catalogue and from 1993 in the frame of the electronic catalogue of the series A/II.