Navigation and service

Cataloguing according to the new Resource Description and Access (RDA)
Cataloguing concept announced

Press release:  11.8.2015

On 1 October 2015 the German National Library (DNB) will begin cataloguing according to the Resource Description and Access (RDA) rules. Libraries and library networks in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking part of Switzerland are due to follow in the next three months. In doing so, the German-language library system is applying a common international standard for the German speaking region. In addition, the open nature of the rules enables their application in further cultural domains such as museums and archives, thus facilitating the pooling of metadata from different cultural institutions for research purposes.

On this occasion the German National Library announces a cataloguing concept aligned to RDA requirements. It is the basis of the data inventory for subsequent use by libraries in the German-speaking region. The publications registered in the German National Bibliography have been available free of charge under CC0 licence since July 2015.

Since the RDA rules permit a wide range of alternatives and options for various degrees of cataloguing, the establishment of common guidelines represents an important goal in the use of these rules. These guidelines, in the form of a set of standard elements, were set up by the RDA working group (AG RDA) of the Standardization Committee. On this basis the National Libraries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria have supplemented them with further elements from the standard set required for national libraries and agreed on cataloguing levels for national bibliographic cataloguing according to the RDA.

All data records prepared by the DNB for the German National Bibliography will in future be assigned to one of the cataloguing levels by the appropriate coding. The coding will be delivered once the technical adaptation of the delivery format has been completed in the first half of 2016.


The German National Library has been collecting, documenting, archiving and making publicly available all publications in words, pictures and sound issued in Germany, or in German, since 1913. In the course of internationalization of German standards, on behalf of the Committee for Library Standards, the Office for Library Standards is actively participating in the development of the new international “Resource Description and Access” (RDA) standard.

The basis for the RDA are the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and the Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), as well as the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (ICP) and in future also the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) of the IFLA. Metadata communities are likewise involved in the RDA development process.

The German National Library offers comprehensive data services in the areas of German National Bibliography, New Release Service, Data Service, Data Shop, SRU interface, OAI Interface, Linked Data Service, URN Service and Catalogue Enrichment.

Further information cataloguing under RDA

Contact person

Press spokeperson

This Page

Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main