November 2019 – January 2023


The ISBD Content Update Task Force was established by the ISBD Review Group in November 2019 to tackle an Updating Revision of the ISBD. Specifically, the Content Update Task Force was charged with the mission to update the content of the ISBD Consolidated Edition 2011 to fulfil the urgent needs of the ISBD communities of users.

The Content Update Task Force was formed with specialists on the subjects proposed for revision, including representatives from the IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section (RBSCS), who were already members of the pre-existing ISBD Editorial Group. Members represented six countries from four continents. Other specialists, from specialized libraries and scientific societies, have been consulted throughout the process.

Terms of reference

  • Provide an update of the content of the ISBD according to the comments and proposals by communities of interest and the users of the ISBD standard
  • Extend the coverage of the ISBD to include a larger array of resources, especially unpublished resources


A revised ISBD Consolidated edition 2011 tackling three types of modifications:

  • Errata of typos and mistakes in the text of the 2011 Consolidated ed.
  • Clarifications, of ambiguities concerning some instructions or differentiations between close concepts
  • Augmentations, including adding new types of resources with instructions on how to record them.


  • Elena Escolano Rodriguez (Spain, Chair)
  • Adelaida Caro Martín (Spain, RBSCS Liaison)
  • Dorothy McGarry (United States)
  • Hollie C. White (Australia)
  • Isabel García-Monge Carretero (Spain, RBSCS Liaison)
  • Judit Fejes (Hungary)
  • Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (Italy, Consultant – Music Materials)
  • Rehab Ouf (Egypt)
  • Ricardo Santos Muñoz (Spain)

Work methodology

The Task Force worked remotely using the Zoom platform for meetings, emails for communication, and IFLA’s Basecamp and Google Drive as shared workspace. The Task Force work was organized in subgroups distributing the members according to the matter and their interests. The subgroups would organize virtual meetings as necessary, usually two meetings per month. Each two months there are general virtual meetings for the Task Force for information on developments and discussions and agreements.


Cartographic Resources subgroup

The subgroup’s task focused on completing the stipulations for the description of celestial cartography, clarifying some existing ambiguities and distinguishing elements already existing in the ISBD Consolidated Edition 2011. Previously, some of these elements were dealt with in notes and have now been moved into Area 3 and considered as elements. In addition, some more notes have been added for a more in-depth description of this kind of resource. These changes have resulted in the reorganization of Area 3 and the enlargement of Area 7.

Unpublished Resources subgroup

The subgroup’s task focused on including the typology of unpublished resources that covers all types of manuscripts created by any mean, even electronic, existing in a library collection. The scope of this extension was agreed on during the ISBD Review Group meeting in Lyon in 2011. Including unpublished resources has resulted in the need to add specific stipulations for this type of resource under the general ones. Some adjustments to other parts of the ISBD and some new elements have also been needed. This includes, the new element Production Process in Area 0 to facilitate categorization and retrieval; the new element Unpublished Statement in Area 3, and the extension of Area 2 to cover the typology of unpublished resources.

Component Parts subgroup

The subgroup’s task focused on integrating stipulations for the application of the ISBD to the description of component parts, to allow for the granular description they require, and to provide internationally agreed on stipulations for the different levels of granularity needed by different types of libraries, including those that perform cataloguing of analytics. The structure of this description that had been dealt with in Chapter A, includes stipulations: to describe the Component Part itself, to identify the Hosting Resource in which it is contained, and to provide details on the exact location of the part within the host, with a Linking Element connecting the two descriptions.

The Component Parts were previously addressed by the Guidelines for the application of the ISBDs to the description of Component Parts (London: IFLA Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC Program, 1988.) The 2003 reproduction with corrections published by the Cataloguing Library of Congress is available online.

Completed projects and publications

2021 Update to the 2011 Consolidated Edition of ISBD

The developments made in this edition:

  • extend the content of the ISBD to encompass unpublished resources with focus on the manuscripts
  • optimize the ability of ISBD for granular description by integrating stipulations for the application of the ISBD to the description of component parts
  • bring more harmonization and clarity to the stipulations for cartographic resources, and enhance the description of astronomical cartographic resources
  • introduce new elements in appropriate areas and in the glossary as required
  • add examples in several languages to the new stipulations to support implementation by the users of the standard

More about this edition can be found here.

Update 2021 to the 2011 ISBD Consolidated Edition [DRAFT]

A draft version of the 2021 Update of the 2011 Consolidated of the ISBD that has been published in December 2021, in which additions and modifications to the 2011 Consolidated Edition are marked in red prints, to facilitate their identification and maximize their usefulness to the users.

More about this draft version can be found here.

Related documentation