Tuesday, November 2, 2010

RE: Displaying Work/Expression/Manifestation records

Posting to Autocat

On Mon, 1 Nov 2010 09:55:43 -0500, Kevin M. Randall wrote:
>It is not helpful to continually mischaracterize what FRBR is about. This latest one baffles me. Yes, complete bibliographic histories are POSSIBLE with FRBR, but I don't recall anyone arguing that they are REQUIRED in any given application of the model.
I don't believe I am mischaracterizing FRBR. It aims to allow a user to (once again):
find/identify/select/obtain:
*works/expressions/manifestations/items*
That seems to be a complete bibliographic history to me. It would be difficult to characterize it in any other way. The FRBR displays I have seen all present complete bibliographic histories. (To clarify: by this I mean a complete bibliographic history for each local collection, and not in the absolute sense. Multiple complete histories of local collections can be collated within union catalogs as well, e.g. WorldCat) Such a display could be interactive so that people would not have to go through lots of information that would be irrelevant to them. (I hope this would be that case, as it was in, e.g. Fiction Finder, but such displays have not always been interactive, as we have seen in the printed catalogs of the 19th century) The purpose of FRBR is to present the user with the complete opus of a work, presented to us in its expressions/manifestations/items, as delineated above. That is what all of the entities are about.

Also, it is not so much that with FRBR, catalogs are *required* to present these complete bibliographic histories, but it is the *underlying purpose* of FRBR. It does this because it proclaims these are the "user tasks". I am sure you could do other things with FRBR-formatted records, but if that is the case, it would seem to make more sense not to introduce FRBR and instead, focus on creating something else that would be better.

Again from a personal viewpoint, I like the complete bibliographic histories but that is because one of my interests is the history of the book. I must face facts however: relatively few people are interested in book/publication history and most are interested in other things from our catalog records.

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