RDA-L Place of Origin of the Expression?

On 8/18/2015 9:52 AM, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:
> I think there should be some internal logics in a system like RDA. If > there is an element “Place of origin of the work”, it is reasonable to > expect that there would also be an element “Place of origin of the > expression”. If there isn’t, then there should be a good reason for this. >
> For example, there is no element “Title of the expression” (although I > believe FRBR has got it as an attribute). I don’t have a problem with > this, as “Title of expression” was left out deliberately and for good > reasons. I don’t think the same applies to “Place of origin of the > expression”, and that bothers me.
>
> Admittedly, it is not the most pressing problem in cataloging.

I understand your reasoning and I can relate. Some people are more concerned with having a system that is as pure and logically consistent as possible, and others are more concerned about the practical consequences of continuing a system that may be logically-constructed, but taking it into places where it really doesn’t work.

I am a practical guy. I always have been. I just figure that if something doesn’t work in practice, then somewhere, there is something wrong with the theory. It is much more important, and much more efficient in all kinds of ways, to find and recognize practical problems early so that the theory can be adjusted. In this case, I think at least some of the problems that catalogers and the public will encounter are relatively easy to predict and to find.

Place of origin of the work/expression is a great example. Cataloging experience has demonstrated that (especially) serials have problems where different journals will have similar titles, and they must be distinguished. Breaking the conflict has been achieved by adding place of publication or dates or corporate body or something. I think that when someone understands the problem, the need to break the conflict and the methods to do so are clear enough to anyone.

It wasn’t so easy to map this to FRBR. The result was the title of the *work* mixed up with the *manifestation* place of publication, and this was forced into the framework as “place of origin of the work”. On its own that may not have been so bad, but once it was accepted, the new concept of “place of origin of the work” was then *extended* as an attribute to *all works*. And then logically, it seems it should be extended to all expressions. I agree that to do so would be logical.

As a result, we see where a purely practical cataloging decision that was used for limited purposes, and that worked well-enough for cataloging purposes, led to difficult theoretical problems when extended into FRBR.

These are problems that–I will state–have nothing whatsoever to do with a real human being wanting to search and understand what a library has in its collection.

On the other hand, Carlos Lopez’s suggestion of distinguishing separate *performances* would potentially have far more practical use to our users than place of origin of work/expression. Keyword solves some of the problems of finding specific performances but it is limited. I know when I am using Youtube I would love some kind of ordered listing of different performances.

But that is somebody else’s job. Catalogers have enough already to keep them busy.

James Weinheimer weinheimer.jim.l@gmail.com
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