Re: [ACAT] WEMI vs. WI

Posting to Autocat

On 22/04/2013 07:41, Hal Cain wrote:

On Sun, 21 Apr 2013 14:05:36 -0400, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote (in part):

The number of bf:Instance containers will be higher than MARC bibliographic records because each bf:Instance will map to only one ISBN (for example, MARC bibliographic records for both hardcover and paperback will be split into different bf:Instance records).

I see impending chaos! Autocat archives include many messages about problems with duplicated ISBNs, also with different ISBNs for things that are the same except for the ISBN differing.

Another concern is that there has never been much agreement as to what is a manifestation/edition/instance/copy among different communities. For the average person, a copy of Huck Finn is a copy no matter what publisher or year or paging it happens to appear in.

For the seller who gets different amounts of money for different types of publication, it is important to know if somebody wants a paperback, hardback, edition on special paper, and so on. Also, the ISBNs for items not published for the last 20 years and not in their current inventories are of little importance to them.

For the antiquarian dealer, the existence or absence of the tiniest minutiae makes a great difference, where e.g. “first edition” means something quite different from the a regular library cataloging idea of “first edition”; the existence or absence of typographical motifs on a specific page, or the color of the cloth binding, or the inclusion of a book jacket may make a huge difference in its value. Providing outside proof of ownership that a specific item was owned by a famous person, although the item may contain no markings, may make it incredibly valuable. Bibliographic description takes on another form and purpose.

Then there is the scholar, who may have entirely different notions of what constitutes a copy from anyone else.

And now with new types of digital, virtual materials seeming to appear every day–as well as disappearing–it would seem time to reconsider completely what a “copy” or “instance” or “manifestation” is today with so many communities trying to come together and so many new types of materials. For instance, what is an “edition” or “copy” of a website? Do such things even exist? Are they found only in the Internet Archive? Or can they be something else?

So whether it is WEMI or WI or something else, it seems as if there will be little agreement among different communities. Again, I take a practical view: what can be done to help people now? But of course, the first step toward building such a tool is to figure out what people really want.