RDA: Resource Description and Access is a package of data elements, guidelines, and instructions for creating library and cultural heritage resource metadata that are well-formed according to international models for user-focused linked data applications.

RDA was created by the RDA Steering Committee (formerly the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA) as part of its strategic plan (2005-2009) to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition Revised, which were first published in 1978.

RDA continues to be developed and improved in a collaborative process led by the RDA Steering Committee. RSC gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the many institutions and individuals who have generously given their time and energies to the creation of RDA.

RDA was developed in line with a set of objectives and principles which are informed by the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles. Read RDA Objectives and Principles

About RDA Toolkit

RDA Toolkit is an integrated, browser-based, online product that allows users to interact with a collection of cataloging-related documents and resources including RDA: Resource Description and Access. RDA Toolkit is published by the RDA Copyright Holders.

About the RDA Copyright Holders

RDA and RDA Toolkit are published by the RDA Copyright Holders:

  • American Library Association
  • Canadian Federation of Library Associations
  • CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

About the RDA Board

The RDA Board is responsible for all policies and programs relating to RDA, the publication of revisions and new editions, and the affairs of its subordinate bodies.

In this capacity, the Board oversees the publication of RDA, reviews developments and progress of the RDA Steering Committee, reviews the state and application of the RDA Fund, determines future programs of work for the RDA Steering Committee, and determines all questions of constitution, terms of reference and conduct of the RDA Steering Committee and Trustees. Learn more about the RDA Board at http://rda-rsc.org/rdaboard.

The RDA Board comprises the representatives of :

  • the three Copyright Holders 
  • the six designated geographic regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania) 
  • the Chair of RDA Steering Committee
  • Director of the ALA Digital Reference

About the RDA Steering Committee

The RDA Steering Committee (RSC) is authorized by the RDA Board with the responsibility for updating and maintaining the content of RDA. Detailed information about the RSC and their process is found on their website http://www.rda-rsc.org.

The RSC includes:

  • RSC Chair
  • RSC Secretary
  • RDA Examples Editor
  • Wider Community Engagement Officer
  • Education and Orientation Officer
  • Technical Team Liaison Officer
  • Translations Team Liaison Officer
  • Representatives of the six designated geographic regions
  • Director of the ALA Digital Reference

ALA Digital Reference

RDA Toolkit is a developed and managed by ALA Digital Reference, a unit of ALA Publishing.

The ALA Digital reference staff includes...

James Hennelly

Jennifer Gongorek
Sales and Operations Associate


RDA and RDA Toolkit Copyright and Permissions Policy

The  Copyright Holders of RDA allow for reuse of the RDA content and RDA Toolkit images as long as the use is in compliance with our Copyright and Permissions Policy.
RDA Toolkit License Agreement

The RDA Toolkit License Agreement is available for review as a PDF. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for the license agreement.  


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