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CODE4LIB  December 2010

CODE4LIB December 2010

Subject:

Re: Announcing OLAC's prototype FRBR-inspired moving image discovery interface

From:

Michael Lackhoff <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 15 Dec 2010 09:30:09 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (45 lines)

On 15.12.2010 00:25 Vacek, Rachel E wrote:

> Idea and Thing are way too vague for my comfort.  The word Work is
> already used with a definition similar to FRBR's.  When we speak of
> Shakespeare's works, we aren't talking about any particular edition,
> translation, or adaptation.  We are talking about the stories
> themselves, independent of any physical manifestation (unless we are
> more specific by saying Shakespeare's works in English, etc.).  An
> author working on his masterpiece might call it his life's work.  He
> may wave around the manuscript when saying it, but he really isn't
> talking about the physical document, but the conceptual content of
> the material.  It will still be his life's work when it comes out in
> first edition, and third paperback reprint.  All FRBR has done is
> take this definition which already exists in the English language and
> refine it into a formal structure with other components describing
> both the physical and conceptual aspects of bibliographic material.

Well, I get the idea but what I find very difficult is to decide how
long it is still the same work, when this conceptual content changes.
E.g. there are new editions of "the work". Sometimes only some errata
are corrected, sometimes a whole chapter is added, in the next edition
it is "completely revised".
Or lets take the work with the most complex edition history: the Bible.
There at least the Hebrew bible (not just a translation, or better the
original but with a different canon), the catholic and the protestant
version. Then of course all the translations, sometimes with a very
special focus. Then we have children bibles, sometimes with the original
texts (maybe in a simplified translation), sometimes as a paraphrase --
and all this in all possible variants of completeness. Perhaps the
stories considered particularly cruel are left out or whatever the
editor found appropriate. Or the text is the same but it has a
substantial illustration part, perhaps from a well known artist.
You get the idea.
How long is it still a manifestation of the original work? How much
change has to be done to the text that it becomes a new work?

My guess is that it is almost impossible to draw such a line though at
the same time I see that it somehow makes sense to speak of a "work".
And this is the point where I am a bit lost...

The problem is not just philosophical. If I want to present links to
other manifestations of the title on display in the OPAC, I have to draw
this line. I'll have to decide which links to show.

--Michael

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