RDA Toolkit and MLA Best Practices update

The April 12, 2016 release of the RDA Toolkit included a few revisions to MLA’s Best Practices and the supplements.

BP now includes a recommendation to record the type of corporate body in all cases, whether or not the term is used as a qualifier in the authorized access point. Generally the LCSH term “Musical groups” for performing ensembles is used (note the use of the plural for “groups”) and the term’s source is recorded in subfield 2.

BP now includes guidance for cases of doubt as to whether the preferred name for a performing group conveys the idea of a corporate body. In such cases, an addition for the type of corporate body is made as instructed at RDA (and also RDA A qualifier such as “Musical group” in not added simply to bring out the musical aspect of the corporate body.

Supplement 1 now includes values for audio cartridge (e.g., 8-track) in the chart. Supplement 1 has also been revised to clarify the non-RDA terms to which “without $2 rda” applies.

The Best Practices are accessible only via the RDA Toolkit. The supplements are accessible via the MLA CMC website.

Thanks to all who were involved in this effort.

Update on ProMusicDB

Over the years you may have followed the progress of ProMusicDB, a rights-management tool and resource that was designed to , among other things, help musicians register their involvement with specific performances and recordings. The project has the potential to generate identifiers that would give music catalogers and archivists very specific ways to distinguish recordings to the track and take level. It also allows musicians to self-register and has the potential to become a resource as a way to identify musicians who might not have had the profile to have been set up in one of the larger authority files.Because of its potential several in MLA and the Encoding Standards Subcommittee have taken a special interest its development.

ProMusicDB, like many other start-ups efforts, has taken some time to mature, but I’m happy to share a report from Christy Crowl at the link below that announces the milestone that they have begun accepting registrations, and summarizes some other work underway.


I’d like to thank Kimmy Szeto and Lisa McFall who have been involved with Christy Crowl since near its inception to support the ProMusicDB effort.