Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music


In addition to formal links with institutions and individuals, DIAMM has been fortunate to collaborate with research projects requiring our expertise. Links to some current collaborative efforts may be found below.

The Alamire Foundation (Leuven) funded by the Agentschap voor Innovatie door Wetenschap en Technologie

In October 2011, The Alamire Foundation was awarded funds to follow an ambitious programme of digitization and technical activity over three years, to create a permanent resource celebrating the work of the scriptorium of Petrus Alamire. Included was funding to provide DIAMM project mangement and photography to support these activities.

Tudor Partbooks: the manuscript legacies of John Sadler, John Baldwin and their antecedents, director Dr Magnus Williamson, co-investigator Dr Julia Craig-McFeely, funded by the AHRC

Tudor Partbooks investigates English music manuscripts from the 1510s to the 1580s, in particular two Elizabethan partbook sets. Among several outputs, the Sadler partbooks will be published in facsimile, digitally restored to their state in the 1570s, before they were degraded by John Sadler’s acidic ink; the Baldwin partbooks will be published with a replacement Tenor partbook contrapuntally restored by a team of specialists.  The RA will assist in the preparation of these outputs, in the editing of electronic outputs (digital images, podcasts and VLE), and in convening project meetings and managing relationships with project collaborators.

Cantum pulcriorem invenire, University of Southampton, director Prof. Mark Everist

The aim of Cantum pulcriorem invenire is to place the conductusof the period c 1170 to c 1320 on the same footing as its two partner genres, the motet and organum. It seeks to achieve this aim by working in three domains simultaneously: conventional musicological scholarship, digital music bibliography, and practice-based research. There is a central objective to each of these three domains, followed by a fourth destined to secure sustainability for work in medieval studies in music.

Musical Life of the late Middle Ages in the Austrian Region (1340-1520), Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Universität Wien, director Prof. dr. Birgit Lodes

Musical Life is a research project which aims to produce new evidence about the musical culture in the Austrian region in the period c. 1340- c. 1520. It is a scholarly investigation of the cultural significance of music, based on documents such as musical scores, archival documents, literary sources, images of art, architecture and material remains, which it embeds in a new historiography of musical life in the region. The text is written in a language that is understandable to non-specialists, and laid out in the guise of a museum catalogue; its 40 short chapters usually focus on selected significant pieces of music and/or documents. Musical sound examples are also offered.

The Production and Reading of Music Sources (PRoMS), University of Manchester, director Prof. Thomas Schmidt.


This AHRC-funded project, a collaboration between Manchester University, the Warburg Institute (School of Advanced Studies, University of London) and the Department of Digital Humanities (King’s College London) presents the first integrated resource for the study of the production and reading of polyphonic music sources from the period c.1480 to c. 1530 in a European context. This will be achieved through a systematic analysis and description of the mise-en-page: the ways in which verbal text, musical notation and other graphic devices interact on the pages of manuscripts and printed editions of that time.

Wode partbooks project, University of Edinburgh, director Prof. Jane Dawson

The main project funded by the AHRC ran from 2007-11 and its follow-on project ‘Sing the Renaissance and Reformation’ from 2012-13. The Edinburgh research team led by Jane Dawson was drawn from Music and the University Library as well as Divinity. Its international partners were the British Library, Trinity College, Dublin, and Georgetown University, Washington DC. The main project culminated in a major exhibition at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival telling the story of psalm singing in Britain at the time of the Reformation. It brought together for the first time all eight surviving Wode Psalter manuscripts and created digital images for permanent viewing. These Part-books form one of the most important collections of early modern Scottish music, including harmonisations for the metrical psalms. Highly illustrated and scattered with marginalia, the Part-books provide many valuable insights and connections with the world of Reformation Britain. Concerts, a musical CD, psalm-singing and academic workshops, subsidiary exhibitions, school resources, an IPhone App and eBook were all produced for the main project and ‘Sing the Renaissance and Reformation’ is bringing modern musical editions to amateur and church choirs.

Collaborative digitization project with Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Würzburg University, Germany, supervised by David Catalunya.

Urbane Musik un Stadtdesign zur Zeit der frühen Habsburger. Wien im 14-15 Jahrhundert. Konservatorium City of Vienna University, director Prof. Susan Zapke; funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

The topic intends to contribute to the urban- and cultural history of Vienna in the period from the end oft he 14th to the beginning of the 16th century.

It includes the facts between the first foundation of the University of Vienna in the year 1365 and its decline at the start of the 16th century – among others the denominational disputes, the siege of Vienna and further internal issues. That was the time of crucial historical developments such as the Council of Konstanz, the Council of Basel and the monastic reform of Melk under Duke Albrecht V. Their consequences had a significant impact on the whole of Austria and are closely linked to the central object of this research project.

Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA) Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, director Prof Ichiro Fujinaga. SSHRC Partnership Grant.

Musical scores are a central resource for music research. SIMSSA targets digitized (scanned) music scores as part of a larger program, the Networked Environment for Music Analysis, to design a 21st-century infrastructure for analyzing all types of music media.

There are two major obstacles to the use of online musical scores. An unprecedented number of musical scores are available on the Internet: all across the world libraries, archives, and museums are digitizing their print and manuscript books and scores. No standards exist currently, however, to unify these collections so that digital scores can be found in one place. It is also virtually impossible to perform content-based searches of online scores (in contrast with digitized text). There is simply no reliable optical music recognition (OMR) software comparable to the optical character recognition (OCR) software that institutions use to make text collections searchable.

In order to gather scores in one place we will develop ways to locate the music scores found inside digitized books (Google Books, Internet Archive, etc.). We will then index the information centrally at our website so that in the future, each digital object will be easily locatable. In other words, we will be creating a union catalogue of digitized scores.

In order to make the scores searchable, the images must be processed further using OMR. We will deploy two state-of-the-art OMR technologies currently under development. We are particularly committed to providing OMR solutions for older music notation systems. Searchable musical scores will enable us to ask new questions about music, and provide better answers to old ones. Now is the moment to create a new research environment and a new set of research tools.