Re: Families as contributors / Brothers Grimm

Posting to RDA-L

On 12/30/2013 10:03 AM, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

I’ve got two questions concerning families and I hope somebody can help:

#1: I’ve found lots of clear examples for a family as a creator (e.g. a family website, collection of family photograph, family newsletter, family cookbook). I can also easily imagine families in the role of owners or publishers. But does anybody have a good example for a family as a contributor, i.e. something that would fall under the relationship designators in I.3.1?

#2: An example which has been much discussed in the context of families here in Germany are Grimm’s Fairy tales:
Kinder- und Hausmaerchen / gesammelt durch die Brueder Grimm (Children’s and household tales / collected by the Brothers Grimm)

I believe that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are the creators of the Fairy tales according to RDA “In some cases, the selection, arrangement, editing, etc., of content for a compilation effectively results in the creation of a new work.” But the question is: Should these two be seen as a family or do we simply have a case of two persons as creators?
The definition for a family in RDA 8.1.2 is: “two or more persons related by birth, marriage, adoption, civil union, or similar legal status, or who otherwise present themselves as a family”. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were certainly related by birth, but do they present themselves as a family? I don’t think so, but I find it hard to make a case for it. To my mind, the fact that they are often called “Brothers Grimm” is simply not enough. Perhaps the problem is that the word “family” isn’t used? Would it have been different if the t.p. said “collected by the Grimm family”?

This seems to me to be a case of the publishers doing “shorthand” instead of naming the two brothers separately. This would be similar to “the Bronte sisters”, e.g. where the cataloger provides headings to each sister separately, or the similar case of “by Mr. and Mrs. …”

If the cataloger wants, he or she could add a cross-reference from the form, e.g. “Bronte sisters” or “Mr. and Mrs. …” or “Grimm Brothers” to their separate headings but it seems to me that making a separate heading for the two (or more) people together would simply add more complexity to the catalog without serving the needs of the user. In fact, this is how it works now. If you search the authority files for “Grimm Brothers” someone finds:
See: Grimm, Jacob, 1785-1863.
See: Grimm, Wilhelm, 1786-1859.

Therefore, the cataloger is supposed to assign both headings. Of course, all of this assumes that when someone searches in the regular catalog, “Grimm Brothers” they will actually see the cross-reference, which they do not. To be more specific, they will not see it if they search keyword which is what everyone does.

Another example of something that does not work in our catalogs today, but would have worked in a printed catalog.