DLF/OCLC Registry of Digital Masters


From a concept eleven years ago to practice in 2005, the DLF/OCLC Registry of Digital Masters (RDM) was developed in a joint project with the Digital Library Federation (DLF) and OCLC for two main reasons:  To provide the coordination and organization of the digitizing of print materials between institutions and to prevent the unnecessary duplication when digitizing those materials.  While the ramp up to add bibliographic records to the Registry was initially slow, the Registry presently contains 4.5 million records with the participation of the HathiTrust Digital Library, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Cornell University, and other institutions.

By recording materials in the Registry, institutions signal their intent to preserve and maintain the accessibility of the described materials over an extended timeframe.

A Registry record also provides information about whether a specific item has already been digitized, and if so, whether the digitization has been done at an adequate level such that another digital copy is not required, what institution is responsible for the digitization, what institution is responsible for the preservation of the digital content, and what specific materials are available.

The past six years has seen many changes in the digital collections field. In response, OCLC and DLF have decided to take the time to evaluate the Registry and determine if it meets the needs of institutions as originally conceived, if those needs have changed in the interim, or what may be needed for future growth.

DLF and OCLC are reviewing the RDM’s success, through a survey and other venues, to determine if any changes are needed to meet the needs of the current and future users.

If you are interested in contributing to the RDM review, please send an email to the DLF info.

To keep updated on RDM activities and announcements, subscribe to its newsfeed.


RDM: Historical Compendium (PDF)

Use Assessment Survey: 2011

Public access to the Registry of Digital Masters

RDM: Record Creation Guidelines