RDA Crosswalk

Karen, our RDA and Authority Control Librarian, has asked that I share this information with our blog readers. If you’re interested in RDA and conversions to and from AACR2 please take a few moments to read this and give us your feedback. Thanks!

With the decision of the National Libraries to adopt RDA sometime after Jan. 2013, we are anticipating more interest how legacy AACR2 records and RDA records should be handled.  We are already seeing an increase in the number of RDA records being produced and there are several institutions cataloging fully with RDA.

Although we are currently able to process both AACR2 and RDA records, we know that having both types of records in the same database can be problematic for some library systems.  We are in the process of creating a crosswalk that would allow us to move AACR2 records to an RDA format or move RDA records to an AACR2 format.

There are several issues with trying to move from the one format to the other.  Since RDA is based more on direct transcription of what is on the resource, it will not always be possible to make a completely accurate crossover from AACR2 to RDA without the item in hand. One example of this would be the change from using abbreviations in AACR2 that would be spelled out in RDA, unless the abbreviation is used on the item. So when making the change from AACR2 to RDA, there would be no way to be absolutely accurate in all cases without that item in hand.  The most commonly seen instance of this is with ‘dept.’ to ‘department’, and ‘ed.’ to ‘edition’.

Another example is the change from using a GMD in the 245 $h in AACR2 records to using more  specific terms for content type, media type, and carrier type in RDA which are put in fields 336-338.  It would not always be possible to take the general designation used in AACR2 and know what the correct terms should be for the more specific fields in RDA without the item in hand.

These are just a couple of examples.  We would like solicit feedback from those of you who might be interested in doing a crosswalk.  What issues do you see?  How would you like things handled?  What margins of error are acceptable?  What would you need for your specific systems?

Feel free to email me, Karen Anderson, at kanderson@bslw.com or if you are coming to ALA, come join us at the MARS Breakfast Saturday morning.  We would love to discuss things with you personally.

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