An update to the RDA Toolkit was published on April 14, 2015. LC issued a 10-page summary of the changes, available at: http://www.loc.gov/aba/rda/pdf/summary_rda_changes_2015.pdf. A list of changes made to LC-PCC policy statements is available at: http://www.loc.gov/aba/rda/pdf/LCPCCPS_changes_2015_April.pdf.
Below are some changes that may be of particular interest.
What some of us refer to fondly as the "cascading vortex of horror" has been done away with! That is, "[t]he distribution statement and its sub-elements are no longer required, even if [X of publication not identified] is recorded in one of the sub-elements of the publication statement" (RDA 2.9). Furthermore, "[t]he manufacture statement and its sub-elements are no longer required, even if [X of publication not identified] is recorded in one of the sub-elements of the publication statement, and distribution information is not recorded" (RDA 2.10). The distribution and manufacture statements may be included at the cataloger's discretion.
RDA 188.8.131.52 (Title of the person) has been revised to include abbreviations indicating academic degrees or organizational memberships as "other terms indicative of rank, honour, or office." An example has been added at the renumbered instruction 184.108.40.206 (Other Term of Rank, Honour, or Office; formerly 220.127.116.11) illustrating the use of "Ph. D." as part of the authorized access point for a person.
RDA 18.104.22.168 (formerly "Place Names for Jurisdictions") has been renamed "Terms Indicating Type of Jurisdiction" and sub-instructions 22.214.171.124.1 and 126.96.36.199.2 (relating to place names that indicate a type of jurisdiction) have been deleted. This change is characterized as a "clarification" that does not constitute a change in LC/PCC practice.
There is a brand new chapter 23, "General Guidelines on Recording Relationships Between Works and Subjects." This is a short chapter that documents what most libraries already do. There is also the new Appendix M, "Relationship Designators: Subject Relationships." Descriptive relationship terms formerly found in Appendix J (e.g., "Commentary on") have been relocated to Appendix M.
The RDA Index is no longer available in the Toolkit; it was considered too "burdensome" to maintain. Toolkit users will also notice that deleted instructions have been replaced with text that says, "[This instruction has been deleted as a revision to RDA. For further information, see 6JSC/LC/27/Sec final.]." The idea behind using this so-called "deprecated" text instead of actually deleting instructions is to avoid extensive renumbering of the instructions.