New rules for cataloguing are implemented by many libraries around the world. Norway is following the example and will switch to RDA.
In Norway we traditionally follow the Anglo-American cataloguing tradition and rules, and it is reasonable to do the same now. This will, among other things, underpin the exchange and reuse of catalogue data internationally.
The standard for cataloguing currently used in Norway is a translation of AACR2. In the development of RDA, it is strongly emphasized that metadata based on AACR2 should be able to function alongside metadata registered with the new RDA standard.
RDA should make it easier to describe electronic material and material that appears in different physical formats. RDA places greater emphasis than AACR2 on creating search entries in the catalogue and clarifying inter-document relationships. It also allows for improved possibilities to register the roles of people or corporations that are linked to the documents.
Much as before
The standard is based on modern principles of cataloguing and builds on FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records). Most of the rules are the same as before, but some changes may be worth noting:
- The terminology has changed, and much of it is taken from FRBR.
- The three description levels of cataloguing are no longer in operation, but so-called core elements are used.
- A number of sources are permitted as a main information source, which results in less use of square brackets.
- All Latin has been eliminated: for example [S.l.] has been replaced by [Place of publication not identified].
- The so-called ‘rule of three’ has been removed, i.e. as many names as the user wishes can be registered.
- General material designation, which in AACR2 is a combination of form and content, has been replaced by three new elements: content type, media type and carrier type.
An obvious change is that the physical book of cataloguing rules disappears. RDA will primarily be available on the internet, in the RDA Toolkit. The Norwegian language version of the standard will stand side by side with other language versions, and access will be provided via licences. The licensing model is based on the number of simultaneous users, but consortium models are also possible.
The National Library of Norway will translate RDA to Norwegian during 2015. This decision was made following a thorough review by and on the recommendation of the Norwegian Cataloguing Committee (DNK).
Preparatory work on the translation has already started. In 2014 DNK will translate the glossary as it is used in RDA, and in addition the content type/media type/ carrier type terms and some appendices of relationship terms. With the technical terminology defined and established, the work will be made easier for the professional translator to translate the text.
During 2014 and 2015 some work will also be carried out on Norwegian guidelines. RDA has a high degree of flexibility built in, and it may be appropriate to provide some guidelines for the use of the standard in Norwegian libraries.
The National Library of Norway is represented in EURIG (the European RDA Interest Group) – and will naturally examine corresponding guidelines from other European countries when preparing the Norwegian guidelines.
In addition to cooperating with DNK, when RDA is phased in at Norwegian libraries the National Library of Norway will work closely with Biblioteksentralen (the central supplier of books and media to Norwegian libraries), librarianship education and suppliers of library systems. Both good training and good timing will be important in this respect.
This article is based on an article published in “Bibliotekaren” [The Librarian] in June 2014.