It’s been a week of big announcements in the cataloguing world: firstly the first release of major updates to RDA and now, today (13 April), the Rare Books and Manuscripts of the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association released a statement from their Bibliographic Standards Committee that, for the main, and until RDA’s impact is clearer, rare book cataloguers should use Descriptive Cataloguing for RareMaterials (DCRM) in preference to RDA:
The Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section advises catalogers using Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (DCRM) for books and serials—DCRM(B) and DCRM(S)—to continue for the time being to follow the rules, options, and alternatives as written. Do not attempt to incorporate elements or practices based on Resource Description and Access (RDA) into descriptions based on DCRM. This instruction does not apply to the choice or form of headings in the bibliographic record, which are outside the scope of DCRM. Bibliographic records with the description conforming to DCRM, regardless of whether the headings are AACR2 or RDA, should still be coded ‘a’ in LDR/18, and ‘dcrmb’ or ‘dcrms’ in 040 ‡e. (DCRM-RDA Task Force webpage)
John Overholt probably spoke for many of us when he tweeted “Rare book catalogers advised to ignore RDA for now, thousands cheer” in his link to the announcement. Certainly the special collections community has been holding its breath since RDA was first mooted during the preparation of DCRM(B): Read the rest of this entry ?