DCRMR is one of several manuals providing specialized cataloging rules for various formats of rare materials typically found in rare book, manuscript, and special collections repositories. Together, these manuals form Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (DCRM), an overarching concept rather than a publication in its own right.

DCRMR is aligned with the RDA element set. When completed, DCRMR will be an integrated and consolidated manual, which will include instructions for rare materials in multiple formats (e.g., music, serials). Currently, DCRMR allows for RDA-compliant rare book cataloging. Previous published editions of the DCRM manuals will not be deprecated and may be used when following the instructions in the Original Toolkit or the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition (AACR2).

DCRMR can be downloaded as a PDF: DCRMR PDF. Previous releases of the DCRMR PDF may be found at DCRMR GitHub repository: PDF folder.

RBMS RDA Editorial Group


Jessica Grzegorski, Newberry Library

Elizabeth Hobart, Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Editorial Group Members

Liz Adams, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Amy Brown, Boston College

Tammy Druash, University of North Florida

Ryan Hildebrand, University of Oregon

Deborah J. Leslie, Folger Shakespeare Library

Matthew J. Murphy, Milwaukee Public Library

Iris O’Brien, British Library

Elizabeth O’Keefe, Formerly of the Morgan Library & Museum

Keepers of the Text

kalan Knudson Davis, University of Minnesota Libraries

Amy Tims, American Antiquarian Society

Current Status

Minimum viable product containing book instructions. Approved for cataloging, effective February 2, 2022.

History of the revision process

In 2010, John Attig and Bob Maxwell wrote a discussion paper “Reconsidering DCRM in the Light of RDA”

2011-2012 DCRM-RDA Task Force presented key recommendations

2012-2014 DCRM(B) for RDA Revision Group

2014-2017 Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials Task Force

2017-2018 RBMS PS editorial work absorbed by BSC and public review of sections of the PS

2018-2019 RBMS Policy Statements Editorial Group



Changes from DCRM(B)

Future work


Image of Right Arrow