What is RDA?


RDA | Resource Description and Access is an international standard for the creation of library and cultural heritage metadata for use in the ever-expanding digital environment.

RDA is designed to address a wide range of data collection and access needs.


RDA supports cataloging practices of libraries large and small, specialized and general, whatever their local requirements might be. It empowers catalogers to make choices that will best serve their patrons, addressing both traditional methods and the latest processes.


RDA is used in over 60 countries and is currently available in 8 languages (with more coming). RDA governance is structured to ensure greater and broader international representation. Find your regional representative at: rda-rsc.org/regions.


RDA is designed to create data that can be accessed and shared among libraries and other cultural heritage institutions. It is compatible with a range of encoding schemes, including MARC 21 and BIBFRAME, and is uniquely positioned to support linked data applications.

The RDA Toolkit Advantages

  • Search and browse full RDA text
  • Support for local practices through user-created documents and other tools
  • Access to documents and policies from a range of highly regarded institutions
  • Integrated display of multiple documents in a single window
  • Enhanced site accessibility and responsive design for use on tablets and smartphones
  • Customizable features that allow users to filter content, set preferences, easily track own activity on the site, and much more