Services Provided

The Resource Description Services Department (RDS) offers a variety of special services to Libraries and University-wide faculty, students, and staff. These services are supplemental to ongoing cataloging of acquired resources, batch processing, and quality management for metadata.[1]

Consultations are critical to assess and provide departmental resources.[2]  As early as possible, please contact RDS for help brainstorming and planning your project(s). Advance planning allows us to discuss needs and solutions, and to calculate investments.


RDS is available to provide resource description services for special projects, including digitization projects.

Cataloging Tier I

Full original cataloging: descriptive metadata with contextual notes, subject indexing with two or more concepts, authority-controlled name and series indexing, and classification numbers.  Estimate: 1-1.5 hours/title

Note: Highly specialized material (e.g., rare books and serials, antique maps, realia) and description of persons and organizations may require 4+ hours/item

Cataloging Tier 2

Minimal original cataloging: descriptive metadata with limited notes, at least one subject index entry, name and series indexing, and classification numbers. Estimate: 30 minutes-1 hour/title

Cataloging Tier 3

Enhance existing data: descriptive metadata with notes, at least one subject index entry, name and series indexing, and classification numbers.  Estimate: 15 minutes-1 hour/title

Cataloging Tier 4

Re-use existing data: without enhancements.  Estimate: 10-15 minutes/title


Typically involves assignment of Library of Congress classification numbers.  Large projects may employ a combination of automated and manual methods.  Estimate: 10 minutes/title (manual assignment)

Physical Processing

Includes barcodes, spine labels, security tapes, and property stamps.  Estimate: 5-10 minutes/volume

The Libraries are a Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) member, and actively contribute to the Library of Congress NACO Authority File (LCNAF) (which feeds into the Virtual International Authority File, VIAF) and to the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). For details and information on making contributions, please visit the Controlled Vocabulary & Thesaurus Development page.

In order to reduce the efforts of the global library community, maximize communal resources, and achieve data interoperability, RDS:

  • follows a common set of standards and guidelines in order to maintain the integrity of a large shared authority file (NACO);
  • proposes subject headings not available in LCSH or an LC classification number not found in the LC schedules (SACO); and
  • may contribute to other thesauri as appropriate


Consultation for research data accessibility, resource description, identity management, and more.

RDS members can advise on and/or oversee cataloging projects for print/analog materials, as well as metadata for digital projects. Please contact us at for more information. Digitization projects begin with a review process in the Libraries’ UFDC Projects meetings. For more information and resources for digitization projects, please visit our Digital Support Services website. Project-specific guidelines are available on the RDS@UF LibGuide.


RDS makes its original catalog records available for download. These are provided in the .mrc format (a library standard), the .mrk format (text file), and XML.

University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) metadata feeds are available as OAI-PMH and RSS.

[1] A number of variables impact the actual time it takes to complete a project, such as:

  • Competing library priorities
  • Availability of reusable metadata
  • Date and/or rarity of material (reusable metadata for older/unique material may be insufficient or unavailable)
  • Language of material (especially if non-roman character sets)
  • Physical format of material (e.g., print, microform, map)
  • Intellectual format of material (e.g., monograph or serial)
  • Physical condition of material
  • Degree to which tasks can be automated
  • Need for related resource creation (e.g., authorized headings in the National Authority File)

[2] Please contact appropriate personnel and plan accordingly for special projects.

  • Special Collections and Area Studies cataloging projects should be coordinated with the annual Priorities List.
  • UFDC metadata needs should be an integral part of project planning and funding.
  • Other projects should be requested by e-mail and will be routed to appropriate staff.