The British Library, Library and Archives Canada, the Library of Congress and the National Library of Australia* have agreed on a coordinated implementation of RDA: Resource Description and Access, the successor to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.

The libraries welcome the move to RDA and the functionality that RDA, as a web product, will provide. We recognise that RDA will provide a standard for resource description and access that is responsive to the digital environment in which libraries now operate.

RDA addresses the needs of the future by providing a flexible framework for describing all types of resources of interest to libraries. RDA’s guidelines will be easy and efficient to use, as well as compatible with internationally established principles, models and standards. In addition, RDA will maintain continuity with the past as data created using RDA will be compatible with existing records in online library catalogues.

To ensure a smooth transition to RDA, the four national libraries will work together where possible on implementation matters such as training, documentation and any national application decisions.

At this stage, it is anticipated that the libraries will implement RDA by the end of 2009. Regular updates will be issued by the national libraries group to keep the library communities in their countries informed on RDA implementation progress and policy decisions.

Contacts for additional information:

  • British Library: Caroline Brazier, Head of Resource Discovery (
  • Library and Archives Canada: Ingrid Parent, Assistant Deputy Minister, Documentary Heritage Collection Sector (
  • Library of Congress: Beacher J. E. Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access (
  • National Library of Australia: Pam Gatenby, Assistant Director General Collections Management (

* These national libraries, together with representatives from the Canadian, UK and US professional library associations, are members of the Committee of Principals (CoP) which oversees the work of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), which is responsible for developing RDA.

October 2007