Bibliographic Standards Committee


BSC statement on DCRM and RDA

Updated September 25, 2013

The Bibliographic Standards Committee is neutral regarding RDA, neither encouraging nor discouraging agencies regarding implementation of RDA-acceptable DCRM records.

Until an RDA-compatible version of DCRM is complete, agencies creating DCRM records should proceed as follows.

Rare books

Apply one of the following:

  1. Continue to catalog according to DCRM(B) and AACR2 for descriptive cataloging, using RDA guidelines for access points; or
  2. Create RDA records by applying the provisions for rare materials included in the RDA BIBCO Standard Record (BSR). This instruction applies also to agencies not producing BIBCO records.
    • If used, the BSR for rare materials should be followed consistently throughout the entire description; it is not to be applied only to selected areas or elements.
    • The MARC record leader should be coded as following ISBD (coded i in LDR/18), with both ‡e rda and ‡e dcrmb (directly after the language of cataloging (‡b)) in the 040 field.

Rare serials

Catalogers of rare serials should continue to catalog according to DCRM(S) and AACR2 for descriptive cataloging, using RDA guidelines for access points. An RDA CONSER Standard Record (CSR), including instructions for rare serials, is in progress. This instruction will be revised once the CSR is approved. Items thus cataloged should still be coded a in LDR/18 and ‡e dcrms in the 040 field.

Update 5/28/13: A draft of the CSR has been forwarded to the PCC Committee on Standards for review:

Update 1/16/14: An updated draft of the PCC RDA CONSER Standard Record (CSR) has been posted by the PCC Standing Committee on Standards (SCS):


Catalogers of graphic materials should continue to catalog according to DCRM(G) and AACR2 for descriptive cataloging, using RDA guidelines for access points. A revision to the rare materials provisions of the BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) is in progress. This instruction will be revised once the revised BSR is approved. Meanwhile, these records should still be coded a in LDR/18 and ‡e dcrmg in the 040 field because there is no provision for coding access point standards.

Relationship designators

Relationship designators allow the relationship between a person, family, or corporate body and a resource to be specified in a catalog record. In MARC bibliographic records they are most commonly used in 100, 110, 700, or 710 fields.

Relationship designators contained in RBMS Controlled Vocabularies: Relationship Designators for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging may be used in catalog records created according to any standard, including RDA, that permits use of relationship designators from a source external to the standard.

A consolidated DCRM based on RDA

Historical context

In January 2013, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Bibliographic Standards Committee charged the DCRM(B) for RDA Revision Group to move rare materials cataloging forward in terms of harmonization with RDA. The formation of this new editorial group was recommended by the DCRM-RDA Task Force, which submitted its final report to BSC in October 2012.

Shift in focus

At the June 2013 ALA Annual Meeting in Chicago, the DCRM(B) RDA Revision Group and the Bibliographic Standards Committee discussed a change of approach for developing an RDA-compatible version of DCRM. Rather than working on the DCRM(B) text in isolation, the revision group proposed to work on a consolidated DCRM based on RDA, incorporating guidelines for all formats in a single text.

DCRM based on RDA will be an altogether new text. Although it will be informed by existing DCRM manuals (including those already published and those nearing completion), it will not be considered a revision of DCRM(B). DCRM guidelines will vary from RDA where there is a rare materials reason to do so. It will also include a number of format-specific guidelines, where necessary.


  1. Create a consolidated DCRM based on RDA, building on the terminology, structure, and examples in RDA.
  2. Where appropriate, enlarge the scope of DCRM to include resources not covered in the present suite of DCRM manuals.
  3. Engage in a dialogue with the rare materials community throughout the development process through postings on a dedicated wiki, and discussion on DCRM-L, and at Midwinter and Annual meetings.
  4. Coordinate activity with the DCRM Steering Group. Until the existing DCRM manuals have been incorporated into a completed, published DCRM-RDA, the DCRM Steering Group will continue to exist as a mechanism for focused collaboration across the constituent DCRM manuals. The chair of the DCRM-RDA group will continue to have a seat on the DCRM Steering Group, which will provide official coordination between the two groups.
  5. Maintain a dialogue with format specialist communities, such as MLA, MAGIRT, SAA, and CONSER. Seek input from such groups as DCRM is developed.
  6. Maintain consistency of the new DCRM with RDA and with rare materials provisions in the BSR for RDA by recommending updates to the BSR and changes to RDA rules as necessary and appropriate.
  7. Issue/promulgate the revision as appropriate (including via the RDA Toolkit and on the RBMS website)


Background information

DCRM-RDA editorial team

DCRM-RDA implementation group

Title and statement of responsibility task group (RDA 2.3-2.4)

Production, publication, distribution, manufacture, and copyright task group (RDA 2.7-2.11)

Questions and comments

Please post questions or comments to DCRM-L or submit them to the Chair of the Bibliographic Standards Committee via email: