IAML Toolbox Best Practices: Cecilia

Cecilia:  http://www.iaml-uk-irl.org/

Mapping the music resource of the UK and Ireland Cecilia is an on-line guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The archives, libraries and museums of the UK and Ireland are treasure houses of materials and resources covering every aspect of music from the esoteric to the popular.

Somewhere, there will be an answer to any particular question - the problem is knowing where to find it. For too long, much of this treasure has remained buried, known only within the organisations that own it, or documented in specialist, hard-to-find publications. There was no single, accessible source of information, so locating these materials has often involved time-consuming and wasteful effort.

Cecilia aims to find the answers. The searchable collection descriptions on Cecilia's database helps enquirers to find information about the music that interests them, and help them discover where the best resources are to suit their needs. Collection descriptions can be found by: time, people, place, subject, tradition, institution. CECILIA is building an overall map of this musical landscape, revealing where musical resources are found and helping to put people in direct contact with the institutions that hold them.

CECILIA is a searchable database across all these different types of institution, collecting information about the collections of music materials they contain, and making it available through one portal. CECILIA will not only be invaluable to the serious researcher, seeking out primary sources, but will also direct the music lover to services found locally in libraries and archives near to home. Whether you are looking for detailed information about a musical topic, or the solution to a crossword clue, CECILIA will show you where to find the answer.

Collection descriptions were created using the RSLP CD schema and form one of the family of datasets under the Cornucopia umbrella.
The decision to adopt this approach was taken in 2003 and has many benefits including the ability to cross-search Cecilia alongside Corncucopia, the automatic implementation of any developments to the Cornucopia system and the distributed editing function. Cecilia provides a means for anyone with a collection of music materials to add to the database, or to amend existing records.

The project was supported with funding from: The British Library Cooperation and Partnership Programme Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Research Support Libraries Programme Music Libraries Trust Cecilia is administered by The United Kingdom & Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML(UK & Irl)).


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