RE: Web catalog

Posting to RDA-L

Adger Williams wrote:

Consider a title search (yes, our patrons do still do those) in an AACR2 catalog for the Broken shore. You would get all the references to individual manifestations that you get in this RDA setup. But/and, they wouldn’t be all crammed onto one webpage. The catalog would provide distinctions based on format, language, and so forth:

Broken shore
Broken shore Dutch
Broken shore Russian
Broken shore [sound recording]
Broken shore [videorecording]

at a results page for quick identification of what you’re after.
To my mind, this is about as clear as it gets. (I’m fifty, though.)

Actually, I pretty much agree with you. I think if it is so important, similar displays can be generated with our current data and formats right now (so long as things are changed to XML), e.g. we can see the name/title search for Goethe at LC’s Voyager catalog:

For example, if you scroll down to: “Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832. Conversations. English” you will see that LC has six versions of this expression. This is very similar to what you mention and I agree it’s pretty clear. One of the problems is that currently these displays work only when people use browse search like in a card catalog, and not through keyword searches, and I can’t really imagine that people will ever return to browsing alphabetical lists like we all used to.

It is important however, that people know that there are additional authors, subjects and (maybe) notes applicable to the work, expression, manifestation, or item and they need to display somewhere. The FRBR-type displays that we see in AustLit is an attempt to solve this, so that people see, e.g. subjects one time and not over and over as they examine each bibliographic record. This is not the only way of doing this however, as we see in the Worldcat example where the additional names, dates, etc. are extracted from the records and displayed in the left-hand column, e.g. this search for Goethe in Worldcat., where I can click on Schiller immediately, or items published in 1932.

In my own opinion, this type of heading extraction is fabulous and represents the sort of capability that will provide modern users with much better functionality than FRBR-type displays.

But I still don’t see why we can’t have both. Now.

(It’s Friday!)