May 25, 2022

New Essay: “The Making of RDA”

The following essay appears in the Italian Journal of Library and Information Studies (

The Making of RDA


Tom Delsey
University of Ottawa


JLIS.itVol. 7, No. 2 (2016)


The author revisits the development of RDA from its inception in 2005 through to its initial release in 2010. The development effort is set in the context of an evolving digital environment that was transforming both the production and dissemination of information resources and the technologies used to create, store, and access data describing those resources. The author examines the interplay between strategic commitments to align RDA with new conceptual models, emerging database structures, and metadata developments in allied communities, on the one hand, and compatibility with AACR2 legacy databases on the other. Aspects of the development effort examined include the structuring of RDA as a resource description language, organizing the new standard as a working tool, and refining guidelines and instructions for recording RDA data.

Direct to Full Text Article (23 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.