In case you missed it, a few days ago a big blurb about The Avid Listener appeared on Bibliolore, a blog run by RILM. RILM–in case you aren’t familiar–is one of the premiere bibliographic repositories of scholarship about music. RILM stands for Répertoire Internationale de Litterature Musicale (or: International Repertory of Music Literature), and is where scholars often start a new project. Go the the RILM page, use the search engine, and voilà: you now have access to a whole bunch of articles, books, music, etc., pertinent to your topic. (Of course, you have to have access to RILM, and this usually happens through academic libraries, but that’s another topic.)
At a recent conference in Calgary, I met Jason Oakes, the editor who runs RILM’s Popular Music wing, and he’s working on how to keep track of good scholarship that appears in digital spaces, such as in scholarly blogs. So it didn’t surprise me to see TAL appear on RILM’s blog a week later, but I sure was delighted. And I’m equally delighted that one of Tim Smolko’s latest essays drew RILM’s attention.
Why does this matter? Digitally published works are hard to track and catalog. Scholars are taught to start their research with scholarly databases; Google and Bing can only get you so far. Figuring out a way to catalog blogs and other ephemeral essays would be a boon to students and scholars in the future because they would be able to find TAL essays, catalogued right along other scholarly, peer-reviewed resources about particular topics. The fact that RILM thinks enough of TAL to highlight us…well, that speaks to the quality of our authors.
Speaking of authors: WE NEED SOME. Seems like a good time to join the TAL fold, don’t you think?