Adjunct Professor, School of Information Studies

1976–Ph.D., English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University
1975–M.L.S., Library and Information Science, University of Western Ontario
1969–A.M., English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University
1968–B.A., English Literature, McMaster University

DMS 11115

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Tom Delsey bio image


Tom's career path has taken him from a brief stint in teaching, to management and executive positions in the federal government, to freelance consulting, and now back to teaching. Throughout that career he has developed a keen interest in bibliographic standards and information architecture. At the National Library of Canada he started out as Chief of the Canadian MARC Office, and then Assistant Director for Standards in the Cataloguing Branch, which gave him the opportunity to participate in the work of a number of standards committees, both national and international. As a consultant, he began focusing on information architecture, working on projects for the Library of Congress, IFLA, ISO, and ALA. The products of that work include IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, an ISO technical report on identifiers and descriptors for use in the content industries, and RDA, a new standard for resource description and access that replaces the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.

Tom's other major area of interest is intellectual property rights. His interests there stemmed from his responsibility for monitoring revisions to the Canadian Copyright Act, as Director General of Corporate Policy and Communications at the National Library, and continued through participation on the CLA Copyright Committee and the Copyright Forum, a coalition of associations in the library, archives, museums, and education sectors as stakeholders in copyright legislation and licensing.

Courses taught

  • ISI 5121 Subject analysis of information
  • ISI 6123 Metadata and taxonomies

Selected publications

Delsey, T. (2005). Modeling subject access: Extending the FRBR and FRANAR conceptual models. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 39 (3/4), 49-61.

Delsey, T. (2005). Thinking outside the box: Adapting AACR and MARC 21 to accommodate electronic resources. In M. A. Chopey (Ed.), Knowledge without boundaries: Organizing information for the future (pp. 49-71), Chicago: Association for Library Collections and Technical Services.

Delsey, T. (2004). Content delivery and rights management: Functional requirements for identifiers and descriptors for use in the music, film, video, sound recording and publishing Industries (ISO/TR 21449). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.

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