Karen Coyle wrote:
> I think this becomes a question of how we express WEMI -- you can
> always link from/to any WEMI using "contains" or "contained in" -- so
> you can always link to all of the Works in an aggregate. What I would
> like to achieve is for different decisions (like one community calling
> the aggregate a Work/Expression and another focusing on the individual
> works and linking those to a Manifestation) to not create incompatible
Keep in mind that EVERY item-in-hand MUST be a Manifestation. At least
this is my interpretation of FRBR.
If you have a bound volume that's an "aggregate", it HAS to be a
manifestation. There is no way to model it purely as an expression.
Works and Expressions are abstract things that I prefer to think of as
sets of manifestations. Really, manifestation is officially abstract
too, it's only Item that is a concrete physical thing. But in library
cataloging we're used to thinking of Items as interchangeable elements
of a Manifestation, and Manifestation is CLOSER to the ground than
Work/Expression. You simply can't have a physical object which is "just"
a Work or Expression and not a Manifestation (and an Item too), that is
not the model.
Every item in hand is an Item, which belongs to a Manifestation set (and
in traditional library cataloging is considered interchangeable with
other Items of that Manifestation for our patrons, and thus we don't
generally record metadata below the manifestation level), which also
belongs to an Expression set and a Work set. (and in traditional library
cataloging, members of expression or work sets are NOT considered
interchangeable for our patrons, for obvious reasons; they may be in
different languages, different mediums, or just be different editions.).
So there's no way to "call an aggregate a Work/Expression" _instead of_
a manifestation, if that aggregate is an actual physical item in your
hand. If people on the RDA-L list came to a "consensus" that is
otherwise... I suspect you misunderstood them, but otherwise their
consensus does not match any interpretation of FRBR I have previously
encountered, or any that makes sense to me.
You've got a manifestation whether you like it or not. The question is
how much "authority work" are you going to do on identifying the
Expression and Work it belongs to. If you don't do much because it
doesn't make sense for you to do so, maybe it starts out modelled as a
manifestation just belonging to a "dummy" Expression/Work that contains
only that Manifestation. Some other cataloger somewhere else does the
"authority" work to flesh out an Expression and/or Work that maybe
contains multiple manifestations or maybe doesn't. Is your data
incompatible? Not really, it can be merged simply by recognizing that
your "dummy" Expression/Work can be merged into their more fleshed out one.
There's also a question of how much "authority work" you want to do on
the _contents_ of the aggregate. Maybe you don't want to spend any time
on that "analytical" task at all, and your record does not reveal that
the item in your hand IS an aggregate, it does not actually expose
relationships to the other Works/Expressions contained within. It might
have a transcribed table of contents as an attribute only, not as a
relationship to other entities. Later some other cataloger fleshes that
out. Here too, that other catalogers extra work can be (conceptually at
least) easily "merged in" to your record, there is no incompatibility.
[If two different catalogers/communities decide that two different Works
contain _different_ manifestations, and violently disagree, then THAT's
an incompatibility that's harder to resolve and is a legitimate
concern. But that's not what we have in this example, which is quite
While to some extent I sympathize with your inchoate thoughts about
modelling WEMI being a mistake, and we've talked about that before --
ultimately I still disagree. It is appropriate to use an
entity-relation-attribute model to come up with the kind of explicit and
formal model of our data that we both agree we need. It's a
conventional, mature, and well-tested modelling approach (I wouldn't
want to pin all our eggs to RDF experimentation that at least arguably
does not rely on an entity model). You can't have an entity model
without entities. The FRBR WMI (and more debatably E) entities are the
ones that clearly come out of a formalization of our 100 year tradition
of cataloging, meaning there's probably something to them AND that using
them makes retroactively applying the model to our 100 years worth of
legacy data is more feasible (and BOTH of those facts are totally
legitimate grounds for decision making. And the decision has already
been made too, although in the case of FRAD I'd still be reluctant to
accept it as a "done deal", but in the case of FRBR, it is much better
done, a much more useful and accurate abstraction of our cataloging
Should we take this back to RDA-L (where I'll probably begin paying only
intermittent attention to it again; for my purposes/interests, there is
a lot of 'noise' on RDA-L).
> I've had this ill-formed notion for a while that we shouldn't actually
> be creating WEMI as "things" -- that to do so locks us into a record
> model and we get right back into some of the problems that we have
> today in terms of exchanging records with anyone who doesn't do things
> exactly our way. WEMI to me should be relationships, not structures.
> If one community wants to gather them together for a particular
> display, that shouldn't require that their data only express that
> structure. I'm not sure FRBR supports this.
> sound vague? it is -- I wish I could provide something more concrete,
> but that's what I'm struggling with.
>> This seems a pretty convincing argument to me?
>> But it's not unique to musical recordings. If I have the Collected
>> Works of Mark Twain, which includes the complete Tom Sawyer... how can
>> Tom Sawyer not be a work? And how can the Tom Sawyer that's in the
>> Collected Works NOT be the same work as the Tom Sawyer that's published
>> If that was "the conclusion on the RDA-L list", it makes no sense to me.