A Brief IAML Dictionary

Are you confused by your GAs, Rs, and Sections? These are some of the acronyms, terms, and phrases you will find on congress programs and when people are talking about IAML.

AEC: The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen

Association: see IAML

Branch: see National Branch

Board: The Board is the executive committee of the General Assembly and comprises eight officers.

CIMCIM: International Committee of Musical Instrument Museums and Collections

Commission Mixte: Committees that serve an advisory role in RISM and RILM

Committee: A Committee carries out specific assignments to advise the Association on administrative and legal matters, dealing with questions of interest to the whole Association.

Constitution Committee: This committee advises the Board on matters of governance concerning the Association.

Copyright Committee: This committee keeps its eye on issues related to music copyright around the world.

EBLIDA: European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations

Excursions: Traditionally, the IAML congress offers tours on Wednesday afternoons during the congress week to visit local attractions and places of cultural interest.

Farewell dinner: The final dinner on the last evening of the congress.

Fontes: IAML's peer-reviewed journal, Fontes artis musicae.

Forum of National Representatives: Each National Branch sends one representative to the Forum of National Representatives to discuss matters of national concern.

Forum of Sections: The chairs of all the Sections make up the Forum of Sections.

General Assembly (GA): General Assembly meets twice during the annual congress and comprises all IAML members present during the meeting. It has the right to make fundamental decisions on the life of IAML, discussing the plans, the current work and the problems of the Association.

Hot Topics: A session during the congress where issues of current importance can be discussed.

IAMIC: International Association of Music Information Centres

IAML: International Association of Marvelous Locations— I mean, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres. Also referred to as the Association.

IASA: International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives

ICA: International Council on Archives

ICTM: International Council of Traditional Music

IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

IMC: International Music Council

IMS: International Musicological Society

ISMIR: International Society for Music Information Retrieval

ISMN: International Standard Music Number

Membership Committee: This committee focuses on the members and membership of IAML.

Mentors and mentees: First-time IAML attendees may be assigned to a mentor to receive guidance and orientation during the congress week. This can be requested on the congress registration form.

National Branch: The official IAML representation in a country, usually closely aligned with the national music library association. IAML has 26 national branches but members in over 40 countries.

Outreach Committee: This committee "reaches out" to offer and provide assistance both to individuals and institutions facing significant economic challenges.

Performance ephemera: Ephemera refers to items such as concert programs, tickets, posters, etc.—things not meant to last longer than the event for which they were created (not the mayfly, Ephemera vulgata).

Poster session: Information is presented on a paper poster where you can learn about current projects. The posters are on display during the congress but during the Poster Sessions, the authors will be present to talk about the content.

Project Group: A Project Group carries out specific assignments, or prepares reports, statements or publications.

RPiM: Recent Publications in Music, an annual international bibliography of music publications, available as a database on the IAML website.

R-Projects, the Rs: These are 4 bibliographical projects co-sponsored by IAML and the IMS. (They are pronounced as one word, not as individual letters.)

  • RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales): Musical sources
  • RILM (Répertoire international de Littérature Musicale): Secondary literature about music
  • RIdIM (Répertoire international d'iconographie musicale): Music iconography
  • RIPM (Répertoire international de la presse musicale: Music periodicals

Section: IAML has Institutional Sections that bring together members working in the same professional field or type of institution. Subject Sections deal with types of library activity.

Study Group: A Study Group falls under the auspices of a Section to address narrowly defined issues of ongoing importance.

TBC: To be confirmed (NOT tuberculosis, as in some languages!)

Working meeting (open): Topics relating to the goals of a committee, section, etc. will be discussed and anyone may attend.

Working meeting (closed): Topics relating to the goals of the committee, group, etc. will be discussed but attendance is by invitation only.



Mit besonderem Dank an Manfred Ullrich!


Thank you! Very, very helpfull! Would you consider for further congresses to publish a multilingual Congress program also? Of course quite everybody understands English. The details however are often very special and tricky and google translate is not always a choice.

The where to go and what to do section of the Congress Programme must be in English, French and German according to the Guidelines for Organizers. I don't think the academic part of the programme has ever been translated or certainly not for a long time. Abstracts have been sporadically translated over the years but I know from personal experience that finding (unpaid) translators to produce  technical translations is never easy, and time constraints often undermine things.

Another less obvious issue is that of providing idiomatic translations for the front part of the programme - again from personal experience. Professional translation is an expense that Organizing Committees will do their best to avoid, and past experience has shown that 'volunteer' native speakers of e.g. French and German who have been resident in the UK for long periods have to varying extents lost touch with the current idiom in their native country. Native French and German speakers will then find their translations to read a little strangely in places. I'm sure that the same would apply in other countries.

I agree entirely with the suggestion that providing more translations would be a good thing to do but I suspect that financial and other constraints  mean that it is unlikely to happen.


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