Resource Description and Accesse

Attention NYSLAA attendees to June 7, 2012 presentation. you can view the slides for RDA Demystified here.

What's RDA?footnote - click here

The Full draft of RDA is available in PDF format from:

RDA Full Draft

The full draft of RDA was made available in November 2008. The comment period has closed; see the responses. The table of contents with links for downloading Chapters and Appendices as PDF files can be found on the Constituency Draft page.

Don't Panic!!RDA Main Resources

bulletRDA Toolkit. Starting point for all RDA-related materials and standards.

  Quick Links Library of Congress Other Resources Print Resources Glossaries and Terms  

Library of Congress

bulletResource Description and Access (RDA): Information and Resources in Preparation for RDA. LC RDA home page. Main place to start for documentation, testing, comments, and other resources.


Other RDA-Related Resources

Introductory Presentations, Glossaries, and Examples

RDA (google search). Find authoritative and new articles and resource pages.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)

Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD)

Deeper Documents and Resources



Print Resources (Selection)

Print resources included here may be available in multiple formats including bundles of print/electronic formats. Please follow the links for further details.


Related titles from ALA Editions


Glossaries and Terminology


Something to Watch


Coyle, Karen and Diane Hillmann. "Resource Description and Access (RDA): Cataloging Rules for the 20th Century." D-Lib Magazine 13:1/2 (Jan./Feb. 2007). (

Abstract: There is evidence that many individuals and organizations in the library world do not support the work taking place to develop a next generation of the library cataloging rules. The authors describe the tensions existing between those advocating an incremental change to cataloging process and others who desire a bolder library entry into the digital era.


1. Schneider, Karen. How OPACS Suck. ALA Techsource, 2006.(Part 1);<> (Part 2);< big-picture.html> (Part 3)
2. Catalog Rules; Author and Title Entries. Compiled by committees of the American Library Association and the (British) Library Association. Chicago: A.L.A. Publishing Board, 1908.
3. A.L.A. Cataloging Rules for Author and Title Entries. 2d ed. edited by Clara Beetle. Chicago: American Library Association, 1949.
4. Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. Chicago: American Library Association, 1967.
5. Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR. Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition. Chicago: American Library Association, 1986.
6. Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. Available at: <>.
7. Sandler, Mark. Collection Development in the Age Day of Google, LRTS, Oct. 2006, 50(4) p. 239-243.
8. Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. RDA: Resource Description and Access. Available at: <>.
9. The principles and future of AACR : proceedings of the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR : Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 23/25, 1997 / edited by Jean Weihs. Ottawa : Canadian Library Association ; London : Library Association Publishing ; Chicago : American Library Association, 1998. Some papers available at: <>.
10. Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. RDA: Resource Description and Access: Prospectus . Available at: <>.
11. IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Final Report. Munich, K.G. Saur, 1998.
12. MARBI Meeting Minutes, ALA Midwinter Meeting, San Antonio, TX - January 21-22, 2006. Available at: <>.
13. Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. RDA – Resource Description and Access: Scope and Structure. Available: <>.
14. Childress, Eric. Report of the RDA Special Session at DC2006 (Wednesday, 4th October 2006). Available at: <>; also Nilsson, Mikael. Comments on RDA. Available at: <>.
15. Calhoun, Karen. The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools. March 17, 2006. 52 p. Available at: <>.
16. University of California Libraries, Bibliographic Services Task Force. Rethinking How We Provide Bibliographic Services for the University of California: Final report, December 2005. Available at: <>. 17. Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. Draft RDA Objectives and Principles. p. 2. Available: <>. 18. IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee. Available at: <>. 19. RDA: Resource Description and Access. Part A, Chapters 6-7. Constituency Review of June 2006 Draft. ALA Response. September 25, 2006. p. 2 Available: <>. 20. Ibid, pp. 4-5 21. Gorman, Michael. "AACR3? Not!" in: The Future of the Descriptive Cataloging Rules : Papers from the ALCTS Preconference, AACR2000, American Library Association. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998. p. 28 22. IFLA UBCIM Working Group on Functional Requirements and Numbering of Authority Records (FRANAR). Functional Requirements for Authority Records: A Conceptual Model, 2005. Available at: <>. 23. Andy Powell, Mikael Nilsson, Ambjorn Naeve, Pete Johnston. DCMI Abstract Model (2005-03-07). Available at: <>. 24. Godfrey Rust and Mark Bide. The <indecs> Metadata Framework: Principles, Model and Data Dictionary (June 2000). Available at: <>. 25. "Working Group Established to Discuss Future of Bibliographic Control" [The Library Today (Library of Congress)] (Dec. 1, 2006). Available at: <>. 26. Walt Crawford, "Library 2.0 and 'Library 2.0'" Cites and Insights: Crawford at Large. v. 6, no. 2 (2006). pp. 4-6.

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footnoteRDA: Resource Description and Access is the new standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world. Built on the foundations established by AACR2, RDA provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media. Benefits of RDA include:

  • A structure based on the conceptual models of FRBR (functional requirements for bibliographic data) and FRAD (functional requirements for authority data) to help catalog users find the information they need more easily
  • A flexible framework for content description of digital resources that also serves the needs of libraries organizing traditional resources
  • A better fit with emerging database technologies, enabling institutions to introduce efficiencies in data capture and storage retrievals.

RDA Initialisms

  • FRBR (functional requirements for bibliographic data).
  • FRAD (functional requirements for authority data) to help catalog users find the information they need more easily.

from: RDA Background page.

RDA Demystified. Powerpoint from the June 7, 2012 presentation.




David J. Bertuca, Map Librarian, Arts & Sciences Libraries, University at Buffalo.
17 November 2011. Comments are welcome.
The materials selected above do not necessarily reflect the policies and procedures of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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