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RDA : Resource Description and Access. Deirdre Kiorgaard Australian Committee on Cataloguing Representative to the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA. AACR to RDA. AACR and descriptive cataloguing. AACR is a robust standard, but …

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rda resource description and access

RDA : Resource Description and Access

Deirdre KiorgaardAustralian Committee on Cataloguing Representative to the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA

aacr and descriptive cataloguing
AACR and descriptive cataloguing
  • AACR is a robust standard, but …
    • ‘Class of materials’ approach is no longer valid
      • Need for principles-based instructions
      • Need for extensibility
    • Designed for the card catalogue not digital world
      • Data needs to be usable in the web environment
  • RDA offers better coverage
    • Visual, Archival & Online resources
brave new world
Brave new world?
  • The power of the search engine
next generation catalogues
Next generation catalogues


full text

table of contents



synonym control

“The OPAC has tended to favour an increase in the number of access points over the effective presentation of the relationships between resources. … It has been the failure to exploit the navigational potential of this rich metadata that has given the OPAC such a bad name.” Danskin, 2006.

navigation and relationships
Navigation and relationships
  • Controlled forms of name
  • Preferred names for works
  • Carefully crafted subject vocabularies
rda and relationships
RDA and relationships
  • Preferred titles for works and expressions
  • Links & relationships between works, expressions, manifestations and items
  • Relationships between works etc, and their creators, etc
  • Relationships between persons, families and corporate bodies
rda and frbr frad frsar
  • The value of conceptual models
    • Identify & define the things that are important - entities
    • Identify & define the attributes that characterise the entities
    • Identify & define significant relationships between entities
    • Identify & define bibliographic entities, attributes and relationships
  • FRBR – user tasks“ a structured framework for relating the data recorded in bibliographic (and authority) records to the needs of theusers of those records.”
frbr in practice
FRBR in practice
  • Used in databases

Red Light Green, Fiction Finder, xISBN,

Austlit, Music Australia, Trove

  • Used in library systems and catalogues

VTLS – Virtua

  • FRBR Bibliography


frbr in practice vtls
FRBR in practice - VTLS




frbr in practice austlit 2
FRBR in practice Austlit (2)



benefits of frbr
Benefits of FRBR
  • A new way of providing access
    • Improved navigation of the catalogue for users
    • Improved catalogue displays
      • For researchers – a more organised display
      • For the general public – a less cluttered display
  • Improved efficiency of data creation & maintenance
the not so secret life of catalogue data 1
The (not so) secret life of catalogue data (1)

“metadata increasingly appears farther and farther away from its original context” Shreeves, Riley and Milewicz (2006).

  • Shared library databases
  • Digitisation projects
  • Institutional repositories
the not so secret life of catalogue data 2
The (not so) secret life of catalogue data (2)
  • The GLAM sector

Galleries, libraries, archives

and museums

  • The Internet

Catalogue records have jumped the fence

  • Leading to:

Services based on data aggregations

Sharing of library data with other sectors

Exposure of library data to the internet

whose standards
Whose standards?

“Standards are like toothbrushes; everyone agrees they are a good idea, but nobody wants to use anyone else’s.” Baca (2008)

  • Library standards
  • Digital library standards
  • Cultural institutions
  • Publishing
achieving commonality
Achieving commonality

When choosing the standards to use within the library sector:

  • use existing standards where they exist
  • influence the development of existing standards to cover any perceived gaps or to address any issues

When working with other communities:

  • use elements from existing standards where needed, rather than re-inventing the wheel
  • use and/or develop common vocabularies wherever possible
  • use or build upon common models and principles
  • make our element sets available on the web
rda and achieving commonality
RDA and achieving commonality
  • Uses external vocabularies
  • Jointly develops new vocabularies
  • Draws on standards in related communities
  • Is built on common models and principles
  • Includes mappings to other standards/schema
rda in the digital world
RDA in the digital world
  • Clearly defined element set
    • better granularity, improved mapping to other schema, e.g. Dublin Core, ISBD, MODS/MADS, MARC21
  • Greater emphasis on relationships
    • Better navigation and displays
  • Better interoperability - common vocabularies
    • Content type, carrier type, media type; Relationship designators; Encoding formats, etc.
    • Making vocabularies accessible
  • RDA and the semantic web
sample rda instructions
Sample – RDA instructions
  • RDA as a cataloguing toolInteractive and onlineIntegration with policies and processes
further information
Further information
  • Australian implementation


Enquiries: nlarda@nla.gov.au

  • Subscription options and Australian pricing


  • MARC changes to support RDA


  • US testing


forthcoming publications
Forthcoming publications
  • Practical Cataloguing: AACR, RDA and MARC21 / Anne Welsh and Sue Batley

ISBN: 978-1-85604-695-4

  • Introduction to Resource Description and Access : Cataloguing and classification in the digital era / Shawne D Miksa

ISBN: 978-1-85604-683-1

  • Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics / Chris Oliver

ISBN 978-0-8389-3594-1