Update on RDA changes in Libraries Australia Cataloguing and Search databases

This is the first of a series of updates that we will be sending you to tell you about the progress we are making in supporting the cataloguing, matching and merging, and also retrieval of RDA records in the Libraries Australia cataloguing and search databases. We know that many of you are wanting to retrieve example RDA records on Libraries Australia.

It is important to note that cataloguing database and the LA Search database are separate databases. While we would like to be able to synchronise changes made to support RDA records in both databases so that they are released at the same time,  it is not possible to do that because they are maintained by different organisations.

However, we will keep you posted on progress for both databases ahead of Libraries Australia’s move to adopt RDA as the preferred  cataloguing standard from April, 2013.  

At this point it is now possible, in both the Training and Production databases, for you to:  

  • Upload RDA records with 33x fields to the Libraries Australia cataloguing database via RIS and the Cataloguing Client (WinIBW)
    However, it is not yet possible for us to store the 264 tag.  We will make this possible in the next configuration release applied to the cataloguing database later this year.  In the interim we recommend that you send the 260 instead.  Both 260 and 264 are permissible in an RDA record.   A list of all MARC21 changes that have already been made to support RDA  in the cataloguing database can be found on the Release notes page of the LA website at: http://www.nla.gov.au/librariesaustralia/services/cataloguing/cataloguing-release-notes/


  • Add the RDA fields into a bibliographic record via the online WebCat  form (accessed via LA Search)
    We will be adding 336,337,338 to the input form early next year. However, in the meantime, these fields can be added as follows:
    After saving your record, and saving again at the second save prompt, you are taken to a window which displays the MARC record that you have just created. At this point it is possible to add the 33X tags and 040$erda in MARC format by editing the record directly.


  • Search for RDA bibliographic  and authority records in the cataloguing database via WinIBW using the command  f sou rda.


  • Search for RDA bib records with 33x fields via the Command search in LA Search:
    In Command Search, (accessed from the Advanced Query tab), use the query:
    TAG = 33? and CSD = i
    Note that the ability to search for RDA records via 040$e = rda will be become possible when we add an index to the LA Search database over the coming months.  

A reminder that prior to the RDA implementation date of March 2013, Libraries Australia policy is that cataloguers should use existing Libraries Australia records without making changes that convert AACR2 records to RDA or vice versa. This recognizes that over the coming months libraries will be at different stages of RDA implementation and aims to balance the interests of all. After the implementation date, RDA will be the Libraries Australia standard for new records and AACR2 records can be upgraded to RDA if the cataloguer considers this useful. The Libraries Australia minimum record standard will also be amended to reflect RDA.

Examples of RDA records in Libraries Australia include: AN 46333266, AN 46406136

Kind regards,

Helen Ludellen
Manager, Australian National Bibliographic Database, Libraries Australia

National Library of Australia
 +61 2 62621215 | 6 02 6273 1180 |

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