Collaborative Musicology: Designing a Digital Library of Musical Events Ephemera

David Bainbridge*, Rachel Elizabeth Cowgill, Frankie Perry, J. Stephen Downie, Alan J. Dix, Michael Twidale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We explore the challenges and potential for collaborative musicological research in creating a digital library centred on musical ephemera relating to historical performances. Runs of concert programmes and season brochures, constituting a metadata-rich collection of highly formulaic homogeneous documents, are combined with related but extremely heterogeneous groups of documents (such as a contemporary musical dictionary, music society journal, composer directory, congress schedules) as well as scores, audio and other archival materials located on external websites. We give an overview of the prototype, explain how we fused general-purpose open-source software toolkits and libraries to develop an image-based digital library with editable annotations and backing store enhanced with linked data, and conclude by observing how well engaging with these code-bases worked out in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDLfM 2023
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology
EditorsMartha E Thomas
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)979-8-4007-0833-6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2023
Event10th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology - Milan, Italy
Duration: 10 Nov 202310 Nov 2023
Conference number: 10

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceedings Series


Conference10th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology
Abbreviated titleDLfM 23


  • digital libraries
  • software architecture
  • open source software
  • ephemeral content
  • music societies

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