RDA Background

RDA: 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 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.

Additional background on the development of RDA is available on the JSC site at http://www.rda-jsc.org/rda.html#background.

Entity Relationship Diagram

Nannette Naught of IMT, who serves as document manager and ALA Publishing's technical lead on the project, has created the Entity Relationship (ER) diagram. Tom Delsey, editor of RDA, worked closely with Naught in the project. An ER diagram is used in software or database development to produce a conceptual data model. An input for development of the functional specification, the ER diagram checks  RDA Element Analysis against the FRBR model.

Formatted for printing in 8.5 x 11 inch sheets, the ER diagram is a visual representation of the RDA data model. Below are links to PDF files.

FRBR Group #1

FRBR Group #2

FRBR Group #3



Though not strictly part of the ER diagram set, the Relationships Overview may help put the individual Relationship ER diagrams in context.

Relationships OverviewPDF logo

Group 1 Entity Relationships
Group 2 Entity Relationships
Group 3 Entity Relationships