The Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon (oeml) is a work of reference on Austrian music in all of its manifestations. "Austria" is understood in its Central European dimension, in line with the country’s historical development. As far as possible, the whole period from prehistorical times to the present is covered. "Music" is also understood in its broader sense. Not only are persons, institutions and phenomena covered that are directly concerned with music, so too are things connected in any other way with music and musical life. For example, the role of music in the other arts, in politics, society, public life, the media, are all included.
The five-volume printed version of the Lexikon compiled under the former Departement for Music Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – now the Division of Musicology of the IKM – contained about 7500 articles and appeared in annual instalments between 2002 and 2006; an index on CD-ROM followed in 2008.
The multimedial, enlarged online version of the Lexikon (oeml online) has been accessible since April 2002 and is being enlarged, supplemented and brought up to date on a continual basis. At present (2016) it includes around 9000 articles. The aim is to complete a multimedial digital reference work with extensive references to further sources of information for the widest possible readership interested in Austria and its music past and present, catering for the needs of both general and expert users. Editorial direction is entrusted to the Division of Musicology of the Institute of History of Art and Musicology (IKM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Cooperation on the project has been established with the Europäisches Biographie-Portal, the Bayerisches Musiker-Lexikon Online (BMLO), the Institut für Tiroler Musikforschung Innsbruck, the Tiroler Landesmuseen, the Image Archive of the Austrian National Library, the Music Information Center Austria and the Oberösterreichische Landesmusikdirektion