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Rochkind On FRBR's WEMI (Work-Expression-Manifestation-Item)

Great post from Jonathon Rochkind on the Bibliographic Wilderness blog. In Notes FRBR WEMI entities, physicality, interchangeability, merging he nicely distills some of the discussion that has been swirling around the discussion lists concerning the WEMI structure in FRBR. He makes a number of useful points that helps clairfy, at least to me, these elements of the FRBR model.

Here are a few examples:

Please keep in mind that of the Work, Entity, Manifestation, Item entity model, it’s really only Item that is an actual physical thing. All the others are abstract things, that I continue to believe are most easily thought of as sets of the things ‘below’ them.”

But if you start thinking that an item in your hand can ‘be’ a Work or Expression without ‘being’ a Manifestation (and item!) too, you are setting yourself up for a lot of confusion. You can’t have a Work or Expression (or, technically Manifestation), without having all the things below it, up to Item.”

As soon as you have something in your hands (a script, a daily DVD), you’ve got an Item. Which belongs to a Manifestation set, which belongs to an Expression set, which belongs to a Work Set.”

He also summarizes an exchange between himself and Karen Coyle regarding what Coyle identifies as the possibility of creating “incompatible data”. Rochkind doesn’t see this as an issue and maintains that it really comes down to the level of authority work that cataloguers are prepared to do. And really this is no different a situation than what happens today in the various cataloguing shops. Some may not “spend any time on that ‘analytical’ task at all” and therefore the relationships between things may or may not be adequately “fleshed out”. Rochkind concludes that this does not create incompatibilities but rather different levels of relationship “assertion”.

Well worth reading the whole post and the commentary that follows between Rochkind and Coyle.


Cataloging Back to the Future: FRBR & RDA

Cataloging Back to the Future: FRBR & RDA is a presentation given by Dr. Robert O. Ellett, who is a lecturer at the School of Library & Information Science, San Jose State University and a Catalog Librarian at the Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA. It was given at the American Library Association ALCTS Preconference held in Chicago, on Thursday, July 9th, 2009.

The other presentations focus on “practical information on the descriptive cataloging of digital media” which may also be of interest to some.


RDA Pre-Conference Presentations from ALA 2009

This collection of presentations was delivered as part of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) RDA Implementation Task Force Pre-Conference at the American Association of Libraries (ALA) called “RDA, FRBR, and FRAD: Making the Connection.”

These are the presentations currently available:

A great way to venture below the surface of RDA and get a better understanding of what an entity/relationship model is all about and have a closer look at the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and the Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD).

There are a couple of other presentations that have yet to be posted and will likely be made available soon at the ALA presentations wiki.



New Cataloguing Blog to Focus on RDA and FRBR

Jennifer Eustis, Catalog/Metadata Librarian at Northeastern University Libraries, launched Celeripedean this month, a new blog on cataloguing.

The main purpose of this blog will be an irregular posting of thoughts about librarianship and in particular cataloging. As an extra, it will also try to aggregate together resources on RDA and FRBR.

Judging from a first quick scan through the posts it looks like it will be a useful blog to follow.



FRBR, RDA, and Platonism

An interesting thread has emerged on the RDA discussion list.  It was initiated by Gene Fieg from the Claremont School of Theology and has started a bit of philosophizing on the ‘work’ and how that idea can be interpreted. Interesting responses from many including a bit of prose from Bernhard Eversberg from Braunschweig University Library and the fine fellow who created the hyperlinked version of the table of contents for the latest draft of RDA. An interesting discussion.


FRBR and the History of Cataloging / William Denton

If your curious about FRBR and cataloguing then I would like to recommend to you Bill’s chapter in the recently published, ‘Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools‘.

In a review in the July issue of Library Resources & Technical Services, Edward Swanson had this to say:

My favorite chapter, one that would appeal to anyone (possibly even nonlibrarians), is Denton’s ‘FRBR and the History of Cataloging.’ In a light, narrative tone, he explains where FRBR comes from by following four ideas through modern Anglo-American library history. One of those ideas is that of the ‘work,’ and that sets us up nicely for the discussions of the work entity in many of the other chapters. He includes an extensive bibliography, a helpful and welcomed addition to his chapter. (It would have been good if all the authors had done the same.)

The full review is available on ProQuest.

It’s a very engaging chapter and I encourage you to have a look. :-)


Bill Denton's FRBR and History of Cataloguing

Speaking of history; did you hear the news?  Bill Denton’s chapter, FRBR and the History of Cataloguing, is now available to read online in York’s institutional repository.  This is a wonderfully entertaining read that provides some excellent contextual background for the development of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR).  As seen yesterday on Bill’s FRBR blog.


CoP Response to WoGroFuBiCo Recommendations re: RDA

The CoP is the Committee of Principals for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) and Resource Description and Access (RDA) which is the main group overseeing the development of RDA. If you haven’t seen it yet you will be interested in reading their Response to Library of Congress’ Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control written before the holidays.

We feel strongly that suspension of work on RDA development is counter-productive to providing future benefits to both the American and international library community from this product, and thus we will be continuing with the development of RDA. The Library of Congress has long been a valued partner in AACR and RDA. Loss of such valued input at this stage would be regrettable and we request that LC continue its involvement in the development of RDA as planned. [original emphasis]“

They also touch on the testing of FRBR and mention a couple of ongoing projects considering RDA to be one of them.