Thursday, October 30, 2014

RDA Blog Reaches 200000 Pageviews

Thanks all for your love, support and suggestions. Please post your feedback and comments on RDA Blog Guest Book. Select remarks will be posted on RDA Blog Testimonials page.


RDA Blog is a blog on Resource Description and Access (RDA), a new library cataloging standard that provides instructions and guidelines on formulating data for resource description and discovery, organized based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), intended for use by libraries and other cultural organizations replacing Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2). RDA Blog lists description and links to resources on Resource Description & Access (RDA). It is an attempt to bring together at one place all the useful and important information, rules, references, news, and links on Resource Description and AccessFRBRFRADFRSADMARC standardsAACR2BIBFRAME, and other items related to current developments and trends in library cataloging practice.

Author: Salman Haider


RDA Blog HistoryRDA Blog is the first and oldest blog exclusively devoted to Resource Description and Access  (RDA). RDA Blog was created by Salman Haider, a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian Blogger & Online Social Media Expert from India. RDA Blog embarked on its journey to provide useful information about Resource Description and Access (RDA) in August 2011. It received good response from librarians, catalogers, and library professionals from all around the world. It is interesting to note that the first hundred thousand pageviews to RDA Blog came in 3 years, but it took just 8 months to reach another hundred thousand pageviews. At present it is viewed at a rate of fifteen to twenty thousand times per month. RDA Blog is widely followed in social media.
  RDA Blog also made it to the list of useful resources of following:

Monday, October 27, 2014

RDA QUIZ : question on International Cataloging Principles (ICP) by IFLA

Post your vote by this Friday. You can also add your input in the comments box...
Correct answer will be declared on the weekend... and a post will be created with further explanations and interesting comments by the users on RDA Blog

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Transcription in Resource Description & Access (RDA) Cataloging

“Take What You See and Accept What You Get”

This is the overriding principle of RDA concerning the transcription of data. It is consistent with the ICP “Principle of Representation” to represent the resource the way it represents itself. This is a fairly significant change from AACR2, which includes extensive rules for abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, numerals, symbols, etc., and in some cases directs the cataloger to ‘correct’ data which is known to be wrong (e.g., typos). With RDA we generally do not alter what is on the resource when transcribing information for certain elements. This is not only to follow the principle of representation, but also for a more practical reason: to encourage re-use of found data you can copy and paste or scan or download into your description of the resource.

Let’s see what this principle means for you as an LC cataloger, regarding capitalization, punctuation, and spacing.  It is critical that you understand LCPS 1.7.1; the overriding principles codified there are generally not discussed elsewhere in the specific instructions.

  • In the RDA Toolkit, display RDA 1.7.1

Note that the alternatives at RDA 1.7.1 allow for the use of in-house guidelines for capitalization, punctuation, numerals, symbols, abbreviations, etc. -- in lieu of RDA instructions or appendices.


Regarding capitalization, RDA 1.7.2 directs the cataloger to “Apply the instructions on capitalization found in Appendix A.  But LC policy says that you can follow the capitalization that you find, without adjusting it.

“For capitalization of transcribed elements, either “take what you see” on the resource or follow [Appendix] A.”

Punctuation, Numerals, Symbols, Abbreviations, etc.

LCPS 1.7.1, First Alternative says “follow the guidelines in 1.7.3 – 1.7.9 and in the appendices.”

Transcribed Elements vs. Recorded Elements

RDA distinguishes between transcribed elements and recorded elements.
  • For transcribed elements, generally accept the data as found on the resource.
  • For recorded elements, the found information is often adjusted (for example, the hyphens in an ISBN are omitted).

Language and Script

The basic instruction for most of the elements for describing a manifestation is to transcribe the data in the language and script found in the resource (“take what you see”).  RDA 1.4 contains a list of elements to be transcribed from the resource in the found language and script.

For non-transcribed elements:
  • When recording all other elements (e.g., extent, notes), record them in the language and script preferred by the agency creating the data (at LC, this is English)
  • When adding information within an element, record it in the language and script of the element to which it is being added
  • When supplying an entire element, generally supply it in English

Regarding non-Latin scripts, LCPS 1.4, First Alternative states the LC policy to record a transliteration instead, or to give both (using the MARC 880 fields)

[Source: Library of Congress]


Also check out following RDA rules in RDA Toolkit for further details:

1.7 Transcription
  • 1.7.1 General Guidelines on Transcription
  • 1.7.2 Capitalization
  • 1.7.3 Punctuation
  • 1.7.4 Diacritical Marks
  • 1.7.5 Symbols
  • 1.7.6 Spacing of Initials and Acronyms
  • 1.7.7 Letters or Words Intended to Be Read More Than Once
  • 1.7.8 Abbreviations
  • 1.7.9 Inaccuracies


1.7.3 Punctuation

This rule suggest to "Transcribe punctuation as it appears on the source"

  • Punctuation separating different elements. Omit punctuation that separates data to be recorded as one element from data to be recorded as a different element.
  • Punctuation separating instances of the same element. Omit punctuation that separates data to be recorded as one element from data recorded as a second or subsequent instance of the same element.
  • Add punctuation, as necessary, for clarity. [For example if the Title appears on the source of information with each word on a separate line then Comma can be added for clarity]


[Updated 2015-08-12]

Friday, October 17, 2014

What is FRBR?

What is FRBR? -- RDA Quiz on Google+ Community RDA Cataloging.

Join RDA Cataloging online community / group / forum and share ideas on RDA and discuss issues related to Resource Description and Access Cataloging.

Following are the comments received on this RDA Blog post


Roger Hawcroft, Library Consultant

Salman, FRBR is an acronym for Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. It stems from recommendations made by IFLA in 1988. The FRBR represents the departure of bibliographic description from the long-standing linear model as used in AACR... to a muti-tiered concept contemporaneous with current technology and the increasing development of digital formats and storage. These principles underpin RDA - Resource Description & Access..

You may find the following outline useful:

I have also placed a list of readings ( not intended to be comprehensive or entirely up-to-dtate) in DropBox for you:

An online search should relatively easily find you the latest papers / articles / opinion on this concept of cataloguing and I am sure that you will find many librarians on LI that have plenty to say for and against the approach!

Sris Ponniahpillai
Library Officer at University of Technology, Sydney

Salman, Hope the article in the following link would help you to understand what FRBR stands for in library terms. Thanks & Best Regards, Sris

Alan Danskin, Metadata Standards Manager at The British Library

FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) is a model published by IFLA. RDA is an implementation of the the FRBR and FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data) models. The FRBR Review Group is currently working on consolidation of these models and the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) model. See and

Erik Dessureault, Library Systems Technician at Concordia University

When I was first introduced to FRBR and RDA in library school, I was immediately struck at how the structure of FRBR lines up nicely with the structure of XML. I am sure that is not a coincidence. Our teacher made us draw out FRBR schemas as part of our assignment, and the parallels with database entity relation diagrams and programming flowcharts were immediately apparent to me. Coming from a information technology background, with some programming and database creation/management experience, FRBR came naturally to me, and struck me as a very rational way to organize information. I can see the potential for automation and standardization and I am eager to see FRBR and RDA become accepted standards in our field.

Elena Shulman, Information Scientist - helping companies acquire, integrate and organize [Big] data and metadata

Hello! If you're still exploring FRBR... we have briefly described it and how we use it at:

David Massart, Helps companies acquire, integrate, and organize big (and not so big) data and metadata

@ Erik FRBR is not just a theory, the Learning Resource Exchange - is an example of a working implementation of it.

David Massart
Helps companies acquire, integrate, and organize big (and not so big) data and metadata

@Roger, sure, here are some details and references:

The (meta-)data model used by the Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) is based on FRBR, each metadata record corresponds to a FRBR Work and references all the Expressions, Manifestations and finally Items for this resources as can be seen, for example, if you click on the "get this resource" button of this record (note that this intermediate screen only appears for resources with more than one Expression or Manifestation). When on the intermediate page, select first the language (i.e., the Expression) you are interested in before clicking on the icon corresponding to the Expression you want to obtain. In case there is only one Expression with one Manifestation, the resource is obtained immediately).

Another example of FRBR-enabled interface is provided by the LRE widget

You can look at the details of the LRE Metadata Application Profile at

To be complete, I must say that this LRE MAP itself is an implementation of IMS LODE ILOX (see Section 4 of for the details of how it uses FRBR).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

RDA Cataloging Example of Selections & Translations

CASE: Selected plays of a Panjabi language author translated into Hindi language.

Bibliographic Record

The Hindi title when translated into English would read: "Representative plays"

Authority Record

LC control no.:n 2012217312
LCCN permalink:
HEADING:Gurasharana Siṅgha, 1929-2011. Plays. Selections. Hindi
00000528cz a2200133n 450
008130524n| azannaabn |a aaa
010__ |a n 2012217312
040__ |a DLC |b eng |c DLC |e rda
1000_ |a Gurasharana Siṅgha, |d 1929-2011. |t Plays. |k Selections. |l Hindi
4000_ |a Gurasharana Siṅgha, |d 1929-2011. |t Pratinidhi nāṭaka
4000_ |a Gurasharana Siṅgha, |d 1929-2011. |t Pratinidhi natak
670__ |a Pratinidhi nāṭaka, 2012: |b title page (Pratinidhi nāṭaka) title page verso (Pratinidhi natak)

[Source: Library of Congress]

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