Sunday, June 19, 2011

Re: Announcing the LC/NAL/NLM RDA Implementation decision

Posting to Autocat

On 18/06/2011 22:44, Williams, Ann wrote:
<snip>
In an RDA world with new discovery tools, would we be better off keeping the eresources on their own records rather than adding them to the paper text record?
</snip>
I don't think it will make much difference with RDA since record structure remains the same, but in an FRBR world, this is the sort of distinction that would in essence, go away since the unit record would disappear. The way it would work would be similar to a 19th-century book catalog, e.g. If we look at "A catalogue of the books of the Boston Library Society in Franklin Place" (Jan 1844)
http://books.google.com/books?id=5uTTV2GYNxIC&pg=PA252#v=onepage&q&f=true
we see:
Shelf Na
54 23      Smith, H. and J. Rejected addresses
                 Boston. 1813. 12mo
99 25        Another copy

This could be added to with:

Shelf Na
54 23      Smith, H. and J. Rejected addresses
                 Boston. 1813. 12mo
99 25        Another copy
Internet         Boston, 1841 LINK
                  3rd American ed. "From the 19th London edition"
Internet         London, Methuen&  Co., 1904 LINK
                  With an introduction and notes by A.D. Godley

[there are many more editions in the Internet Archive and Google Books, and probably other places as well]

This is, what I see as the essence of FRBR: it gets away from the unit record and introduces another system based on book catalogs. This is why deciding whether something goes onto the same record or not will no longer make much difference in an FRBR universe because the unit record disappears. RDA does not posit these changes.

I do not question for a moment that such a display is better for users,and no cataloger from any time would have ever questioned it. What I do question is whether this is what people really want *today*, and more importantly, whether such displays can be generated from our formats right now. After all, if they can be generated from what we have now, why go through all the pain and suffering of retraining & retooling everybody and everything, plus making our users wait even longer when the final product could be created today? I personally think it could.

Does someone who is looking at a catalog record for this book want to know about the versions in the Internet archive? Of course! But another method of doing it could perhaps be much simpler: just a link to  http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=smith%20rejected%20addresses. Or
perhaps better with http://openlibrary.org/search?q=smith+rejected+addresses or http://openlibrary.org/works/OL1145764W/Rejected_addresses.

These are some of the methods we could use and they exist right now! For free even!

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