10th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology

In association with the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) Conference, 10th November 2023

The Digital Libraries for Musicology (DLfM) conference is the premiere venue for scholars engaging with digital libraries in the domain of music and musicology. It provides a forum for musicians, musicologists, librarians, and technologists to share findings and expertise.


The DLfM 2023 schedule can now be found here: https://dlfm.web.ox.ac.uk/2023-programme


In 2021 and 2022, we had successful and productive collaborations with the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), although the pandemic forced us to hold the conference online in 2021. So was the last conference we had in association with ISMIR in 2020. We are thus delighted to come back to ISMIR for a full, in-person conference this time.

DLfM 2023 will take place on 10 November 2023, in Milan, Italy, as a satellite event of the ISMIR conference (https://ismir.net/). DLfM will be hosted by the Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Milano.


DLfM welcomes contributions related to any aspect of digital libraries and musicology, including topics related to musical archiving and retrieval, cataloguing and classification, musical databases, special collections, music encodings and representations, computational musicology, or music information retrieval (MIR).

Given DLfM’s return this year as a satellite event of the ISMIR conference, we welcome papers that apply MIR technologies to “music documents” with a focus on cultural heritage preservation. Scores and music documents have been digitized by libraries and archives worldwide for preservation and access. Some of these digital libraries' resources are being converted into symbolic files representing the music content of the documents. These symbolic music files, in turn, allow for more interaction with the music—through rendering, playback, search, and computational music analysis. At this DLfM congress, we aim to stimulate discussions around the use of MIR technologies in symbolic music and their implications for cultural heritage preservation.

The organizing committee strongly encourages papers and posters that address the theme, however, we welcome all papers addressing all traditional topics that fall under the scope of DLfM. Specific examples of topics traditionally covered at DLfM can be found below.

Proceedings of the DLfM 2023 are expected to be published in ACM ICPS as an Open Access publication as in previous years. Like last year, we are planning to be able to offer authors an open access proceedings paper without passing on the cost to authors.

In addition to the regular paper and poster submissions, this year we have a new challenge submission track focused on "software sustainability," the details of which are provided below.


Related to paper submissions:

  • Paper (full paper and short paper) submission deadline: Friday, June 30 July 07, 2023
  • Notification of paper acceptance: Friday, September 01, 2023
  • Camera-ready submission deadline (full and short papers): Friday, September 29, 2023

Related to poster submissions:

  • Poster abstract submission deadline: Friday, September 08, 2023
  • Poster notification of acceptance: Friday, September 15, 2023

Related to Software-Sustainability challenge submissions:

  • Challenge submission deadline: Friday, September 29, 2023

General deadlines:

  • Conference early bird registration deadline: Friday, October 06, 2023
  • Conference registration deadline: Friday, November 03, 2023 (on-site registration will not be possible)
  • Conference: Friday, November 10, 2023, at Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Milano


Paper submissions

Poster submissions

  • Submission: The initial poster submission consists of an abstract which outlines both the scholarly content and broad details of the proposed layout in 500 words or fewer. This is to be sent to dlfm2023@easychair.org.
  • Format: Posters will be formatted in A0 specifications and in portrait format. All accepted posters will also be required to submit before the conference date a digital copy to be shared publicly on the conference web page.

Software-Sustainability Challenge

What are the barriers to the sustainability, maintainability, and longevity of the systems and services that support digital library use in musicology? What effect do concerns about sustainability have? What would a sustainable digital library infrastructure look like?

The Software Sustainability Challenge solicits short position papers, articulating problems, requirements, and solutions on the topic of sustainability of systems and services which support digital library use in musicology. We welcome speculative work, and submissions that explore particular problems, as well as those that suggest solutions.

Submissions: Software Sustainability Challenge submission should be no more than 2-pages long, and use the ACM sigconf template (for more details, see the main conference Call For Papers). They will be peer reviewed, and accepted submissions will be presented at the conference as either part of a panel or lightning talk and/or within a poster session (as determined by the Programme Chair). Challenge submissions will not be included in the main DLfM proceedings, but will be published on the conference website; they will additionally be used (with appropriate credit given) to inform a report into Digital Musicology for the UK Software Sustainability Institute.

Authors should use headings from the following list to structure their submissions, addressing implications for sustainability in all relevant sections, and using as many as are applicable for their scenario:

  • Nature and purpose of the sustainable tool or resource
  • Audience and users, disciplines and subjects
  • Position within the research lifecycle
  • Means of access and accessibility
  • Current and future requirements, or implementations
  • Challenges for sustainability
  • Future directions

Challenge contributions must be submitted via the DLfM 2023 EasyChair page by Friday 29 September.

Review and Ethics

Papers (long and short) will be double blind peer reviewed by 2-3 members of the programme committee. For accepted paper submissions, at least one author must register for the conference (as a presenter) by the conference registration deadline

DLfM conforms to the usual conventions for publication ethics. For instance, we endeavour to provide an effective reviewing process that is fair to all submissions, with reviews from experts in the subject area. In turn, we expect authors to ensure anonymity in the original submission as far as practically possible, (for instance by not uploading the submission to public website and/or removing any currently public unpublished preprints while it is under review) and that submissions to DLfM are not under active consideration by another conference or journal.

Submission / registration link and contact email


While Digital Libraries have long offered facilities to provide multimedia content, the requirements of systems for library music are complex. The many forms taken by musical data, the needs for connections between these, and the importance of scholarly and historical contextual information all require special care to support meaningful engagement with the materials.

The Digital Libraries for Musicology (DLfM) conference presents a venue specifically for those working on, and with, Digital Library systems and content in the domain of music and musicology. This includes Music Digital Library systems, their application and use in musicology, technologies for enhanced access and organisation of musics in Digital Libraries, bibliographic and metadata for music, intersections with music Linked Data, and the challenges of working with the multiple representations of music across large-scale digital collections such as the Internet Archive and HathiTrust.

DLfM focuses on the implications of music for Digital Libraries and Digital Libraries research, especially when pushing the boundaries of contemporary musicology through the application of techniques from more technology-oriented fora such as ISMIR and ICMC. This instalment of DLfM conference follows previous conferences in Montreal, The Hague, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Knoxville and London.

DLfM partners with IAML, ISMIR, and other conferences to encourage new collaborations and discussions surrounding prominent issues in our shared field.


  • to act as a forum for reporting, presenting, evaluating and disseminating work combining technology with musicology through Digital Library systems;
  • to critically evaluate the operation of Music Digital Libraries and the applications and findings that flow from them;
  • to re-evaluate existing Music Digital Libraries, particularly in light of the transformative methods and applications emerging from musicology, large collections of both audio and music-related data, ‘big data’ methods, and MIR;
  • to explore how digital libraries and digital musicology can combine to offer richer online access to online music collections;
  • to set the agenda for work in the field to address these new challenges and opportunities.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Building and managing digital music collections
    • Optical music recognition
    • Information literacies for Music Digital Libraries
    • Data quality assessment
  • Access, interfaces, and ergonomics
    • Interfaces and access mechanisms for digital music content
    • Identification/location of music (in all forms) in generic Digital Libraries
    • Techniques for locating and accessing music in very large Digital Libraries (e.g. HathiTrust, Internet Archive)
    • Mechanisms for combining multi-form music content within and between Digital Libraries and other digital resources
    • User information needs and behaviour for Music Digital Libraries
  • Musicological knowledge
    • Music data representations, including manuscripts/scores and audio
    • Applied MIR techniques for digital music content or analysis
    • Computational and systematic approaches to musicological analysis
    • Extraction of musical concepts from symbolic notation and/or audio data
    • Metadata and metadata schemas for music
    • Application of Linked Data and Semantic Web techniques to Music Digital Library content, access, or organisation
    • Ontologies and categorisation of musics and music artefacts
  • Improving data for musicology
    • Musical corpus-building at scale
    • Enriching public access to music, music-cultural, and music-ephemera material online
    • Digital Libraries showcasing need or support of musicology and/or other scholarly domain
    • Digital Libraries combining resources for musicology (e.g. combining audio, scores, bibliographic, geographic, ethnomusicology, performance, etc.)


Programme Chair

Martha E. Thomae, DDMAL, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal

General Chair

Laurent Pugin, RISM Digital Center / University of Bern

Proceedings Chair

Anna Plaksin, Institut für Kunstgeschichte und Musikwissenschaft, Abteilung Musikwissenschaft, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Programme Committee

Claire Arthur, Georgia Institute of Technology
David Bainbridge, University of Waikato
Houman Behzadi, McGill University
Jorge Calvo-Zaragoza, Universidad de Alicante
Kahyun Choi, Indiana University Bloomington
Nathaniel Condit-Schultz, Georgia Institute of Technology
Rachel Cowgill, University of York
Elsa De Luca, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Reinier de Valk, City University London
Teresa Delgado, Biblioteca Nacional de España
Karen Desmond, Brandeis University
Jürgen Diet, Bavarian State Library
Benjamin Fields, BBC
Ichiro Fujinaga, McGill University
Francesca Giannetti, Rutgers University
Christophe Guillotel-Nothmann, IReMus UMR 8223 (CNRS, Paris-Sorbonne, BNF, Culture)
Jan Hajiç Jr, Charles University
Jose M. Iñesta, Universidad de Alicante
Charles Inskip, University College London
Yaolong Ju, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd
Audrey Laplante, EBSI, Université de Montréal
Kjell Lemström, University of Helsinki
Ewa Lukasik, Poznan University of Technology, Institute of Computing Science
Cory Mckay, Marianopolis College
Joshua Neumann, Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz
Néstor Nápoles López, Avid Technology / McGill University
Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Australian National University
Kevin Page, University of Oxford
Emilia Parada-Cabaleiro, Nuremberg University of Music
Alastair Porter, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Rupert Ridgewell, British Library
David Rizo, Universidad de Alicante
Sertan Şentürk, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Xavier Serra, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Peter Stadler, Paderborn University
Sandra Tuppen, British Library
Marnix van Berchum, Utrecht University
Raffaele Viglianti, University of Maryland
Gabriel Vigliensoni, Goldsmiths University of London
Frans Wiering, Utrecht University
Sonia Wronkowska, The National Library of Poland