10th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology

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

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.


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, hopefully, a full, in-person conference this time.

DLfM 2022 will take place on 10 November 2023, in Milan, Italy, as a satellite event of the ISMIR conference (https://ismir.net/).


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 as a satellite event of the ISMIR conference, this year, we welcome papers where MIR technologies are applied to “music documents” for acquisition, retrieval, preservation, or analysis purposes, focusing on “symbolic music” in the context of Digital Libraries for Musicology. Several scores and music documents have been digitized for preservation and access purposes in many libraries and archives around the world. Some of these digital libraries’ resources have been converted into symbolic files encoding the music of the original sources. These symbolic music files, in turn, allow for more interaction with the music—through rendering, playback, search, and computational musicological analysis. However, symbolic music has taken on a diminished role at MIR conferences in recent years. During this DLfM congress, we want to revitalize the discussion about the use of MIR technologies in symbolic music and their implications in the context of digital libraries, cultural heritage preservation, and musicological research.

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


  • Paper (full paper and short paper) submission deadline: Monday, June 26, 2023
  • Notification of paper acceptance: Monday, August 21, 2023
  • Poster submission deadline: Monday, September 04, 2023
  • Camera-ready submission deadline (full and short papers): Monday, September 25, 2023
  • Conference registration deadline: TBA
  • Conference: Friday, November 10, 2023, at TBA


  • TBA


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