• The Moravian Music Foundation Experience Using Bibliographic Records Downloaded from RISM
English Abstract

The Moravian Music Foundation (MMF; with offices and collections in Winston-Salem, NC and Bethlehem, PA) is more than halfway through a three-year project to bring its catalogue online. The MMF holds over 10,000 manuscripts and early imprints representing not only music of the Moravians, but also by European masters, mostly from the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, which Moravians collected, copied, studied, and enjoyed. To bring awareness of this vast store to students, researchers, musicians, and musicologists, the MMF is mounting a coordinated effort to upload and enhance records in both OCLC and RISM, and to provide links between both systems to enrich the search capabilities of each. This article outlines the project history, focusses on the particular challenges of one collection (the Johannes Herbst Collection), and provides a vision going forward.

French Abstract

Avec des bureaux et des collections situées à Winston-Salem (Caroline du Nord) et Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), la fondation Moravian Music Foundation (MMF) est à mi-chemin d'un projet prévu sur trois ans et qui vise à rendre un catalogue accessible en ligne.

La MMF contient plus de 10 000 manuscrits et impressions anciennes représentant non seulement la musique de Moravie, mais aussi celle de maîtres européens de la seconde moitié du XVIIIe et première moitié du XIXe siècles. Les moraves les ont collecté, copié, étudié et apprécié. C'est dans le but de prendre connaissance de cett riche collection que des étudiants, chercheurs, musiciens et musicologues, organisés au sein de la MMF, ont coordonné leurs efforts: afin de mettre en ligne et de proposer ces archives sur OCLC et RISM, ainsi que de fournir des liens entre les deux systèmes et enrichir ainsi les possibilités de recherche.

Cet article expose les grandes lignes de l'histoire de ce projet, se concentre sur les défis de la collection Johannes Herbst, et expose les perspectives à venir.

German Abstract

Die Moravian Music Foundation (MMF - mit Büros und Sammlungen in Winston-Salem, North Carolina und Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) hat ein auf drei Jahre angelegtes Programm, ihre Sammlung in einem Onlinekatalog zu erfassen, schon zu über 50% bewältigt. Die MMF besitzt über 10.000 Handschriften und frühe Drucke von Musik überwiegend aus dem späten 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert. Die enthaltene Musik wurde von den Mitgliedern der Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde gesammelt, kopiert, studiert und rezipiert und stammt aus der Feder mährischer, aber auch anderer europäischer Meister. Um diesen gigantischen Fundus bei Studierenden, Forschenden, Musikern und Musikwissenschaftlern bekannter zu machen startet die MMF einen koordinierten Versuch, Datensätze in sowohl OCLC als auch RISM hochzuladen bzw. die dort bereits vorhandenen Datensätze anzureichern. Zusätzlich sollen Links zwischen den beiden Systemen die Such- möglichkeiten des jeweiligen Systems stärken. Der Aufsatz umreißt die Projektgeschichte, beleuchtet speziell die besonderen Herausforderungen im Bezug auf einen einzelnen Sammlungsteil (die Johannes-Herbst-Sammlung) und gibt einen Ausblick in die Zukunft.

"The Moravian Music Foundation [MMF] has custodial responsibility for more than 10,000 musical documents belonging to the Moravian Church in America. Established in 1956, one of its first major accomplishments was to locate this material, much of which at that time lay scattered in various churches of the Northern and Southern provinces of the Moravian Church, and bring it together in two central locations, so that it could efficiently carry out its purpose of preserving, studying, and publishing the music"1.

The bulk of the Foundation's holdings consist of congregational music collections from the earliest and largest "settlement congregations": Nazareth, Pennsylvania (1740), Bethle hem, Pennsylvania (1741), Lititz, Pennsylvania (1749, originally named Warwick), and Salem, North Carolina (1766). Congregation collections included anthems and sacred solos and duets with orchestral accompaniment written by Moravian composers, but also derived from contemporary European composers. These towns also established collegia musica that performed symphonies, concertos, and chamber music by European composers, such as sons and students of J. S. Bach, Carl Abel, Johann Stamitz, Mozart, Haydn, and others. Some of these are represented by first editions, and some are the only known manuscript copies. The MMF also holds some of the earliest examples of chamber music written in America by Moravian composers, such as the string trios of John Antes (Antes' trios were probably not written in America, but he was a native-born American), string quintets by Johann Friedrich Peter, and wind ensemble music by David Moritz Michael.

The Moravian Music Foundation has a large collection of nineteenth-century sheet music, and band music of the 26th North Carolina Regiment, which was based in Salem (the only complete collection of scores and parts of Confederate band music). The MMF also has personal collections of twentieth century composers, conductors, and performers such as Thor Johnson, Charles Fussell, Margaret V. Sandresky, and George Hamilton IV. [End Page 355]

For many years, the MMF has used the "10,000 musical documents" number to describe the size of its collections. In truth, it is unknown how many unique pieces of music are represented in the collections because so much music was shared, copied, and misplaced among the various locations. A recent tally of local record holdings is over 37,000; but that may also be attributed to the detailed analytics added to the cataloguing now underway.

The Big Picture of What We Are Doing

In 2014, the Moravian Music Foundation began a project to convert its card catalogue to an online catalogue. While many libraries are on their second generation OPAC (and, perhaps, even their third now!), the MMF is taking advantage of new interfaces and tools from both OCLC (WorldCat) and RISM to bring awareness and searchability of its substantial and unique collections to the world via the Internet; and to support a symbiosis between these two world-class databases, which are seen to be the main tools students, musicians, researchers, and musicologists would use in their work. Using OCLC's Discovery© interface means that our records are on a hosted system, thus we have no need for an in-house OPAC or servers with their capital or maintenance costs. Local holdings records are created using OCLC's WorldShare Record Manager© to identify items by call numbers, shelf numbers, and preservation microfilm reels in collections housed in the Winston-Salem, NC or Bethlehem, PA locations. The MMF organises by archival practice but catalogues according to library principles.

The first task was to reclassify our research library collection, integrating it with the research collection of the Moravian Archives of the Southern Province of the Moravian Church in North America, with whom the MMF shares a facility. Our archival collections cover twenty-three major collections: congregational collections, collegium musicum collections and their subsequent community orchestra/band collections, and sixty-five personal collections of collectors, copyists, composers, and conductors. Additionally, the MMF holds several collections of printed music, from oratorios and masses to sheet music spanning the nineteenth century.

Where We Have Been

During the 1960s and 1970s, a massive cataloguing effort was funded with matching grants by corporate sponsors and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A card catalogue with hand-written musical incipits was created. Several book catalogues of major collections were published separately2.

"In the early 1990s the Moravian Music Foundation (MMF) began planning for a retrospective conversion project for the catalogs of its approximately six-thousand volume reference library, and ten-thousand music manuscripts and early imprints. These collections were cataloged in the 1960s and 1970s, funded by grants from the NEH and various corporations and foundations"3 [End Page 356] In the article "A Cataloger's Work is NEVER Done …", MMF Director Dr. Nola Reed Knouse asked these questions (and attempted to answer them) "Why are we still using cards? Are we ever going to computerize this catalog? We certainly hope so; but this probably will not be possible for several years … when we have the funding, the staffing and the 'know-how'"4.

The pieces fell into place about fifteen years later when a substantial bequest from the will of Cincinnati philanthropist Louise Dieterle Nippert was left to the MMF. Librarians with deep interest in and long experience with the Moravian Church and its music were hired, and the cataloguing project took off!

As Project Manager Barbara Strauss explained, "Working cooperatively with Backstage Library Works, the record sources are scanned and converted to MARC records, with additions according to specifications for each collection. Records are loaded into WorldCat, with local holding records providing the collection title and shelf location of each manuscript or printed score/part and its preservation film location … Manuscript records with encoded musical incipits will be loaded into RISM (Repertoire international des sources musicales). Holdings for early published music will be added to RISM as well"5.

Why This is Important and What We Hope to Accomplish

"In the custody of the Moravian Music Foundation is one of the most valuable collections of eighteenth and nineteenth century music in America. The importance of this collection to the study of the extraordinary musical culture of the American Moravians can hardly be overestimated. It is sometimes forgotten, however, that holdings of the Foundation also include vast amounts of manuscript copies and printed editions of music by non-Moravian, European composers"6.

A fair amount of this music representing "extraordinary musical culture … by non-Moravian, European composers" is found in the collections of the collegia musica of Moravian settlement communities. For example, the MMF holds the only known copies of sinfonias and trio sonatas by J. C. F. Bach (the "Bückeburg Bach") in manuscripts copied in the 1760s by Moravian Johann Friedrich Peter, while he was a seminary student in Germany.

"By the 1780's the Bethlehem Collegium musicum was playing the music of the best composers of the day—Bach's sons, Hasse, Stamitz, Haydn, and many others, now lesser known. Other Collegia musica were founded—Lititz (c. 1765), Nazareth (c. 1780), and Salem (c. 1786)—the latter continuing on until about 1835. The increasing demand for music by these groups stimulated the American Moravians to a veritable frenzy of copying and transcribing from European masterworks as well as composing their own works. The Salem Collegium Musicum collection holds about 500 compositions, of which about 150 are in manuscript form! String music is prevalent in all of the instrumental music collections, with genres ranging from works for unaccompanied violin through classical symphonies"7. [End Page 357]

The Moravian Music Foundation was also the recipient of the comprehensive collection of Irving Lowens of approximately 2,000 early American tunebooks. This collection alone is rivalled only by a few of the most prestigious institutions in America. The MMF hopes this online cataloguing project will make our unique and substantial collections more easily discoverable8.

One of the MMF's collections is unique, not only in terms of its content, format, and provenance, but also in the challenging way by which the metadata were obtained, and how linking back to its source was accomplished.

The Johannes Herbst Collection

The Johannes Herbst Collection is unique, comprised of hand-copied, (mostly) full scores of concerted anthems, solos, and duets collected over fifty years (1750s to at least 1802) by Johannes Herbst (1735–1812), a minister of the Moravian Church. He began his collection while serving the church in Germany, and continued to add to the collection throughout his career in America. His last months were spent in Salem, North Carolina, where the collection passed into the custody of the Moravian Church, and into the care of the Moravian Music Foundation.

The collection is divided into three sections. The first section (A) consists of 464 manuscripts containing about a thousand anthems and arias intended for church use. The second section (B) contains forty-six extended works mostly in full score9. Some of these works were evidently copied from printed sources, which have been identified in other MMF collections. These manuscripts attest to Herbst's accuracy in copying. Finally, section C is made up of several collections, such as works for keyboard, and a collection of sacred songs with keyboard accompaniment.

The Johannes Herbst Collection was selected as the first published catalogue of the MMF collections "… because its accessibility is of the utmost importance to further progress in Moravian music research"10.

The Herbst Collection serves as a "Rosetta Stone" for early Moravian music research. While the congregational collections were working collections of individual vocal and instrumental parts (which sometimes went missing or were damaged through use), the Herbst Collection was a personal library of full scores which were well-preserved11. "The Herbst Collection is limited only by the life span of its owner. Its range covers the whole Moravian sacred music tradition through the sixty years of its most vigorous growth—from its inception in the mid-eighteenth century to its maturity in the first decade of the nineteenth century … After Herbst's death, the Collection was deposited in the Moravian Archives in Salem, North Carolina. At that time, the Collection consisted of [End Page 358] 464 manuscripts containing scores of approximately one thousand anthems and arias for use in Moravian services, i.e., the Congregation Music (A), scores and/or parts for forty-five extended works (B), and a few volumes of miscellaneous pieces (C)"12.

The Johannes Herbst Collection now totals 1,664 records on OCLC. The individual pieces from the volumes in part C of the collection have been catalogued.

Additional subject headings have been added to include church festivals (whether those are common to all Christian churches), such as Advent, Christmas, Easter, etc. (for which LC subject headings have been applied), or are unique to the Moravian Church (for which local subject headings have been applied).

Scripture references have been added to the MARC 630 field. Gombosi included many scripture references in her catalogue, but these used old verse numberings from an earlier Luther translation, which often meant Psalm references were off by one or two verse numbers. An unpublished transcription of Herbst's texts13 helped to identify text sources. Herbst's personal copy of a hymn book14 was consulted when a later published source15 did not identify authors of hymn texts. The availability of online and searchable versions of historical hymnals16 have helped to identify and verify in many cases the verses which accompanied the biblical verses in the Daily Texts, which permitted the verification of the hymn writer and the hymnal used.

Notes have been provided to give context and dating for compositions. Many anthems were written for certain dates and were based on the Daily Text(s) (Losungen) and accompanying hymn text for that date. Verifying texts using actual published copies of the Losungen/Daily Texts from our collections allows us not only to specifically date the composition of musical works, but also where it was written, since we have detailed accounts of where members of the Moravian Church were at given times.

In 1970, the Catalog of the Johannes Herbst Collection, edited by Marilyn Gombosi, was published; and in 1976 University Music Editions published a microfiche set images of the manuscripts17. Harvard University Library converted records from the book catalogue and submitted records to RISM. It is unknown whether the records added to RISM by Harvard were based solely on the published Gombosi catalogue or also from the set of microfiche of the manuscripts (Harvard owns both). These records were downloaded from RISM with permission, edited, and uploaded into OCLC.

The file downloaded from RISM was saved locally in a "Local Save File," and records were edited and saved to OCLC's online file. In the book copy of the catalogue, the local save file record number was recorded, as was the new OCLC record number.

Some of the records in the Gombosi catalogue refer to a single piece of music. The process was rather straightforward. The record for RISM ID 000107824 (see figure 1) was [End Page 359]

Fig 1. H 28, Gregor's soprano duet "Siehe wie fein ist's und lieblich" in RISM.
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Fig 1.

H 28, Gregor's soprano duet "Siehe wie fein ist's und lieblich" in RISM.

viewed in the Local Save File (see figure 2). Very few of the fixed data fields were present, and those that were present needed to be checked. In this example, the country code "gw" for Germany was changed to "xx". Although the inscription referred to an event in Herrnhut, Germany, it did not necessarily mean the work was copied while Herbst was in Germany. On the other hand, we did keep the date 1763, since the date for which the work was intended was given and fell within the life span of the composer. [End Page 360]

Fig 2. H 28 exported record from RISM into OCLC before editing.
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Fig 2.

H 28 exported record from RISM into OCLC before editing18.

We created a Constant Data Record (see figure 3) which we could superimpose over each record. Not all the fields applied to each record, but applying the Constant Data Record provided the template for fields that required attention.

Not all the data downloaded from RISM was ready for upload into OCLC. In the MARC 031, 100, 245, and 500 fields I watched for umlauted vowels and the German Eszett (ß [double S]). In the example in figure 2, note the copyright symbols where the ß should appear in the words süße (süsse) and laß (lass) and daß (dass). In the 245, the word Flügels appeared as Fl©ơgels.

The MARC 100 field required the removal of subfields j and 0 before controlling the composer names and dates with the Authority file. [End Page 361]

Fig 3. Constant Data Record.
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Fig 3.

Constant Data Record.

In the 245 field we added the title which appeared in the 240 field, but put the title in brackets, since the titles were usually derived from the first line of text; but we kept the number since Herbst usually listed this at the top of the first page. Some tweaking was required in the 264 and 300 fields. Fields 336, 337, and 338 fields were added to make these records RDA compliant, which meant also editing the 040 field with subfield e and adding an i in the Desc field.

The 510 field required removal of subfield 0. Similarly, subfield 0 in the 700 fields required deletion.

Field 593 was deleted, but the information concerning manuscripts was included in the 300 field. Field 594 was an invalid field, and had to be changed to 382 01.

The 852 field was edited to match the shelflist numbers given in the 510 and 561 fields. However, data in the 852 field disappears when the record is added to OCLC. OCLC's Bib-formats help states: "Field 852 does not remain in the master record. It is retained in exported records and records delivered via other services"19.

We changed or added subject headings (650) as needed. We added 700 fields as needed to bring out hymn writers' names, for example. Many of the musical works were written for special festival occasions unique to the Moravian Church. We compiled a list of these so we could consistently name them in local subject headings (650_7). We added biblical allusions in the 630.

Finally, we added information in field 856 (856 42) to create a link back to the RISM record. The information given in this field includes the URL provided by RISM's [End Page 362]

Fig 4. Completed record for H 28, Gregor's "Siehe wie fein ist's und lieblich".
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Fig 4.

Completed record for H 28, Gregor's "Siehe wie fein ist's und lieblich".

Permalink in subfield u, the title copied from the 245 into subfield z, and the RISM incipit number from subfield u in the 031 field to subfield w in the 856 following (ISIL DE-633). The completed OCLC record (see figure 4) thus displays links in the Moravian Music Foundations online catalogue (GemeinKat) (see figure 5) or as a "More information" link in the general WorldCat interface (see figure 6).

What is Left and Where Are We Going?

The MMF has a number of smaller collections in its archives in Winston-Salem, NC and in Bethlehem, PA. Among these are some personal collections. Some have been catalogued, while others have only summary inventories, and some are totally uncatalogued and unorganised. To major collections already added to OCLC, the MMF is adding musical incipit entries in the MARC 031 field. While musical incipits are not viewable in OCLC, they will be in RISM when they are uploaded. Links from the OCLC records will [End Page 363]

Fig 5. Newly edited record in GemeinKat with link to RISM record.
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Fig 5.

Newly edited record in GemeinKat with link to RISM record.

then be added to point to the RISM records as they do now for the records of the Johannes Herbst Collection.

In the process of editing RISM records and adding them to OCLC, we placed the RISM record numbers in the 035 field, but they were not retained when saved to OCLC. Because we have enhanced these records, we want to see the enhancements displayed in RISM as well as OCLC, so we are using MARCEdit© to ensure that records from OCLC will upload to properly enhance RISM records.

The MMF has a collection of recordings in various formats that have not yet been catalogued. Some of these are/were commercially available recordings, but others are archival recordings from Moravian Music Festivals. The MMF is also the repository of the recordings of country/folk/gospel music performer George Hamilton IV (who grew up Moravian in Winston-Salem, North Carolina).

The Moravian Music Foundation's publications (Moravian Music Bulletin, Moravian Music Journal, and Moravian Music Foundation Newsletter) are available in RILM. The MMF is investigating possibilities of shared catalogues with other Moravian institutions (Moravian Archives of the Northern Province and Moravian College, both in Bethlehem, PA, Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC, Unity Archives in Herrnhut, Germany) to improve federated searching of complementary collections. [End Page 364]

Fig 6. Newly edited record displayed in WorldCat.
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Fig 6.

Newly edited record displayed in WorldCat.

[End Page 365] [End Page 366]

David Blum

David Blum (dave@moravianmusic.org) is Project Cataloger at the Moravian Music Foundation (MMF) since 2014, and holds degrees from Kent State University (MLS) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary (MACM). He has edited several anthems for the MMF's "Moravian Star Anthem Series", and his edition of Ernst Wilhelm Wolf's (1735–1792) Easter Cantata (Ostercantate) was recently published by Steglein Publishing, Inc. in its series "Musical Treasures from Moravian Archives", and recorded by the Bach Festival Singers and Orchestra and members of Rollins College Singers.


1. Richard D. Claypool, "Archival Collections of the Moravian Music Foundation and Some Notes on the Philharmonic Society of Bethlehem", Fontes Artis Musicae 23, no. 4 (October–December 1976): 177–190, at 179. The Moravian Music Foundation (MMF) has published anthems through major publishers over the years. Since 2007, the MMF has self-published more than seventy, many of which are scholarly editions with English translations based on manuscripts. These anthems are suitable for use by church, academic, and community choirs. For an up-to-date list of available publications, see http://moravianmusic.org/moravian-star-anthem-series/, accessed 18 August 2017.

2. Marilyn Gombosi, Catalog of the Johannes Herbst Collection (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1970); Frances Cumnock, Catalog of the Salem Congregation Music (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1980); Robert Steelman, Catalog of the Lititz Congregation Collection (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1981).

3. Barbara Strauss, "The Moravian Music Foundation Announces the Receipt of a Significant Gift", Notes 73, no. 1 (September 2016): 80–82, at 80.

4. Nola Reed Knouse, "A Cataloger's Work is NEVER done …", Moravian Music Journal 42 (1997): 11.

5. Strauss, "Moravian Music Foundation", 82.

6. Richard D. Claypool, "Archival Collections of the Moravian Music Foundation and Some Notes on the Philharmonic Society of Bethlehem", Fontes Artis Musicae 23, no. 4 (October–December 1976): 177–190, at 177.

7. Moravian Music Foundation, "What is Moravian Music?", http://moravianmusic.org/faq/, accessed 18 August 2017.

8. David Blum and Barbara Strauss, "Bring Your Hidden Resources to Light", http://www.oclc.org/member-stories/moravian.en.html, accessed 18 August 2017.

9. Gombosi's catalogue contains forty-five works, but another work has since been discovered and identified: Die Feyer der Christen auf Golgatha (1786), by Johann Gottfried Schicht (1753–1823), conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and cantor of the Thomanerchor. Identified as H B XLVI, copies of this work are present in the Philharmonic Society of Bethlehem collection: PSB 6.

10. Gombosi, Catalog, v.

11. A limited number of examples of full scores in congregational collections, notably those signed and dated by Johann Friedrich Peter (1746–1813), from the early-1760s during his days at seminary in Germany are found in the Bethlehem Scores and the Lancaster Congregation collections.

12. Gombosi, Catalog, vi.

13. Ewald V. Nolte, The Book of Texts by Johannes Herbst. Unpublished, undated typescript.

14. Gesangbuch, zum Gebrauch der evangelischen Brudergemeinen (Gnadau, 1778) contains Herbst's handwritten attributions of authors of hymn texts.

15. Joseph Th[eodor] Müller, Hymnologisches Handbuch zum Gesangbuch der Brüdergemeine (Herrnhut: Verlag des Vereins für Brüdergeschichte, 1916), in Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Materialen und Dokumente, Reihe 4, Band VI (Hildesheim, Germany and New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1977).

16. Gesangbuch, zum Gebrauch der evangelischen Brüdergemeinen (Gnadau, Senft 1824, [1778]), https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009716778, accessed 18 August 2017.

17. The Johannes Herbst Collection, c.1752–1812: A Microfiche First Edition … Prepared with the Assistance and Cooperation of the Moravian Music Foundation (New York: University Music Editions, 1976).

18. All OCLC Records in Discovery®, Record Manager®, and Connexion® used in this article are United States registered trademarks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Images from those services are Copyright 2000–2017, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Used by permission.

19. OCLC Support & Training, Bibliographic Formats and Standards, http://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/8xx/852.html, accessed 18 August 2017.

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