Digital Collections Workshop: Resource Description and Access (RDA) for Names

Understanding the principles of RDA guidelines for names is an important part of metadata work in developing properly formatted names for organizations, individual persons, families, events, and institutions. This workshop will provide tools, resources, and guidelines in creating names, targeted specifically for Institutional Repository and Digital Assessment Management work. Examples and challenges of establishing names and identifying creators, will be discussed including the role of contributor vs. creator, unknown contributors, and a discussion of the role of institutional identity in metadata.

The workshop is discussion based and requires preparation, active participation, and a follow-up homework assignment in order to fully engage the material.


Supporting Staff

Photo of Elizabeth Duell

Elizabeth Duell

Program Support & Events Manager

Orbis Cascade Alliance

Work Phone: (541) 246-2470

Pronouns: she/her/hers



Participants should have attended the SAA Forming Names According to RDA webinars or have exposure to basic RDA principles prior to attendance

Review the documentation: Dublin Core Best Practices, Version 2.3 for contributors and creators guidelines.
Choose a digital item from your institution’s Digital Asset Management System or Institutional Repository for which you have questions about the creators, contributors, or other names in the metadata (or if you have one which would be good for discussion, please feel free to share that). If you have not created metadata, review a digital item to be included in your Digital Asset Management System or Institutional Repository.

Send a question and/or example(s) for discussion to your instructor. In that email, please address the following questions:

  • Were you able to represent all names associated with the item?
  • What challenges do you find in developing names for a digital item?
  • Did you link to or consult other authority sources (National Authority File – NAF- VIAF, ORCID, other sources?)
  • Which name related fields are part of your local practices and processes?
  • What questions do you have?

Send your questions and/or questions in an email to your instructor no less than two business days before the workshop. (Screenshots are fine to capture the metadata). Your instructor will use your example(s) for discussion.

The workshop is discussion-based is so much more worthwhile if everyone is prepared. Review the instructions and ground rules, and ensure that you are joining from your own computer and have both a microphone and headphones. The workshop is not a broadcast; it is a discussion.

Be assured that the workshop is a shame-free zone and that metadata associated with a particular institution will be redacted.


  • Determine a local policy for contributors and creators for your Institutional Repository and/or Digital Assessment Management System and share the policy with the instructor.
  • Complete the RDA names quiz and exercise online (provided after the workshop)
  • Working with a record or item from your collection, develop your name(s). Send a scan of the item to your instructor, along with your name(s) formed in RDA.
  • The instructor will give you individual feedback for both homework assignments.
  • Take this short quiz to engage with some additional examples and test your knowledge.
  • Complete the workshop evaluation.

Due dates

  • For March 20 workshop: April 5
  • For April 12 workshop: April 28

Development of this training supported in part with grants awarded by the Oregon Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program of the Oregon State Library in 2016 and 2017.