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Start of cataloguing based on new Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard

Press release:  1.10.2015

The German National Library generated the catalogue entry for Jonathan Franzen's novel "Purity" today - the first data record to be generated based on the Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard. As project leader, the library is responsible for overseeing the transition to the international standard in the German-speaking countries.

The plot of the novel stretches across six decades and three continents; the scope of the RDA project itself was not quite as broad, nevertheless it required almost three years of work in three countries. The long road to cataloguing the first records based on the new code has been taken along with colleagues from Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. All the relevant institutions will effect the transition by the end of the year, completing an important step towards achieving a modern, forward-looking cataloguing system.

The novel by Jonathan Franzen ends with the words "... did she believe that she might." Of the initial implementation of RDA in the German-speaking countries it can now be said: "It is done".


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


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