Happy New IAML Year!

Today, the first day of 2023, I send you my very best wishes for the coming year! 

Looking back at 2022 one can conclude that it was a fruitful year for IAML. The highlight was, without doubt, the successful congress in Prague. It was very rewarding to meet in person for the first time since the congress in Kraków in 2019. Once more, I would like to pay tribute to our Czech colleagues for being so accommodating. Anybody who has been involved in preparing a IAML congress knows how much work goes into the preparations. The organizers in Prague met the extra challenge to have to postpone the congress due to the pandemic, not once but twice, with good humour and flexibility. The attendees expressed their appreciation in the congress survey. Minutes, reports, congress diaries and lots of materials presented in the sessions can be found on the IAML website. 

Perhaps you have heard that the acronym IAML actually stands for “International Association of Marvellous Locations”? ;-) Prague was definitely no exception, and now we can look forward to yet another splendid location: The 2023 IAML Congress will take place in Cambridge, United Kingdom, 30 July - 4 August. I imagine that our colleagues in the UK & Ireland Branch are very busy at the moment. The year has a special significance since the Branch celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2023 - we have been promised some birthday surprises during the week! 

I remind you of the possibility to apply for funding from The Liesbeth Hodemaeker-Cohen Fund for IAML Congress Travel and the H.  Robert Cohen / RIPM Fund for IAML Congress Travel. Application is open to all members of IAML, with priority given to individual members who are attending their first or second congress. The deadline for application is 1 April 2023

On the note of anniversaries, I would like to congratulate the national branches that celebrated different jubilees in 2022. The branches in the following countries turned seventy last year: France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. The Norwegian IAML Branch celebrated its 50th anniversary in October and the Polish IAML Branch its “Golden Jubilee” in November. A younger sibling in the IAML family, the Austrian IAML Branch, held a conference in December in honour of its 20th anniversary.  

In connection with the anniversary, the Polish branch translated the IAML brochure from English into Polish. It is now downloadable from the IAML website. The Board encourages any other national branch that wishes to make a translation into its own language to contact our Secretary General, Anders Cato. IAML will be happy to pay for the design, while the printing cost would have to be at the expense of each branch. The national branches are the backbone of IAML and I would like to quote the last sentence from the report of the conference written by IAML’s Past President Stanislaw Hrabia: As members of the Polish National Branch of IAML, we greatly appreciate the opportunity of working together in a collaborative atmosphere with our colleagues around the world and are thankful for all expressions of support and friendship. 

Even if the annual congresses carry a special weight in our association the increased online presence has, I believe, vitalized our association considerably. In January we arranged an online Wikipedia workshop as a part of the “One librarian, one reference campaign”, which is an event taking place twice per year. We focussed, quite naturally, on improving articles related to IAML. In May there was an online session with three presentations on different aspects of cataloguing and metadata, organized jointly by three Sections: Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions, Cataloguing and Metadata, and Broadcasting and Orchestra Libraries. Thank you very much to the Chairs of the Sections: Charles Peters, Kimmy Szeto and Sabina Benelli.  

A special Online Events Committee was established at the General Assembly in Prague “to develop a programme of online meetings, talks and social events between the annual in-person Congresses.” The Chair of the Committee is Maria Teresa Delgado Sanchez. I wish her and the other Committee members Houman Behzadi, Margaret Jones and the ex officio members Anders Cato and Rupert Ridgewell the best of luck with this important task. 

The IAML Historian, John Wagstaff, often reminds us that IAML is an association of people, within the seemingly complex structure. It is a pleasure for me to recall the appointment in 2022 of a new Honorary Member of our Association: Cordial congratulations to Maria Calderisi! The citation can be found here. Sadly, two central figures within IAML passed away during last year: Don L. Roberts and Michael Ochs. The obituaries are attached to the minutes of the latest General Assembly

In October the Board arranged the online meeting “IAML Members Meet the Board” for the first time. The topics for discussion centred around the vitality of IAML's national branches and IAML’s future congresses. The reports from the group discussions will form the basis of the Board’s work with IAML’s strategy during the mid-term Board meeting that will take place in Munich, 9-10 February. Another thing always analysed and carefully considered is the result of the survey that follows every IAML congress. 

2022 has been a year of anniversaries! I had the great pleasure to participate in the international conference acknowledging the 70th anniversary of RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales). Around 100 musicologists attended the hybrid conference that took place at the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz, Germany 7-9 October 2002. It was an honour for me to extend IAML’s warm greetings on this occasion. 

I also had the privilege to attend the 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society (IMS), which was held in Athens, 22 - 28  August. I used the chance to acquaint myself with members of the Greek IAML Branch (several of them made presentations during the conference) and visit music libraries and archives in Athens. Our Greek colleagues made me feel very welcome, so I take this opportunity to thank them so much for their hospitality. After the conference I made a short trip to Thessaloniki, where the IAML Congress in 2026 will take place – another “marvellous location”, I can assure you! 

Short reports from the two conferences mentioned above can be found in the newsfeed of the IAML website. 

We are living in distressing times and are reminded of the importance of culture in people’s lives. IAML has formulated, in accordance with many other music and library organizations, a statement of solidarity with Ukraine. We are also proud sponsors of the SUCHO project – Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online. I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to MLA member Anna Kijas for initiating this project. I would also like to thank Ruta Almane-Palmbaha from the National Library of Latvia (where IAML held its congress in 2017) for sharing the Christmas message of the Director Andris Vilks. The first half of the speech is devoted to the situation in Ukraine and how Latvians have offered support in different ways.  

In the beginning of this message, I wrote that 2022 was a fruitful year for IAML, so I hope you excuse me for this rather lengthy letter. So much has happened and there are so many people I would like to thank, but I really must stop now. Let me just finish by reminding you of the important fact that elections to the IAML Board, that is the offices as President Elect and four Vice Presidents, will take place in late spring. The Secretary General, Anders Cato, will send out information about this on IAML-L in January.  

Happy New Year to you all!!


Dear colleagues, Last year was indeed a year of celebrations! The Dutch IAML Branch was founded in 1996, but celebrated its 25th jubilee in 2022, due to the pandemic. It was a pleasure for me to send a congratulatory video to the reception that took place in Bibliotheek Den Haag in May. I have been fortunate enough to become acquainted with several members from the Netherlands over the years, and I have many pleasant memories that I treasure. One of them is certainly the fantastic conference in Amsterdam in 2009. I use this occasion to announce that Martie Severt, a former IAML President, was awarded an honorary membership of the Dutch IAML Branch during the festivities. The citation says (with the help of Google translate): "… As a co-founder and Board member/Treasurer, he has shown continuous commitment to and great involvement with the NVMB since the foundation of the Association for more than 25 years."


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