Here’s a quick mention of something with a title that grabbed me: Sherman Clarke‘s writeup, for the 2004 ALA Midwinter Conference, about FRBR and buildings. He points out some differences in how FRBR specifies who can be seen as responsible for a work (Group 2 entities) and how AACR does it.
John Hubbard, who’s behind LISWiki (a wiki, of course, being a web site that anyone can edit), started a page about FRBR. The site uses the same software as Wikipedia and so may look familiar to you. You’re welcome to edit the FRBR entry (or any other) and help make it better.
Ed O’Neill left a comment yesterday with details about the new Working Group on Aggregates he’s chairing, and I’m pointing it out so you don’t miss it. Give it a look to see who’s in the group, what they’re going to do, and why.
Today I’m delighted to have the second instalment of Four FRBR Questions with another eminent FRBRian. Pat Riva, new chair of the FRBR Review Group, was kind enough to answer the questions. If you haven’t met her, here’s a chance to get to know a bit about her right at the start of her tenure as chair.
When did you first hear about FRBR?
I’m not really sure. I think it must have been during the lead-up to the 1997 International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR (held in Oct. 1997 in Toronto). The major papers were circulated prior to the conference and discussed on a listserv. Shelley Sherry Vellucci’s paper on bibliographic relationships summarized all the important work in that (very interesting) area, and let me realize that the IFLA FRBR report was something I wanted very much to know more about. I wasn’t able to do anything further (due to being heavily involved in a major system migration in my day job) until 2001 when I made FRBR-related work (specifically membership in the Format Variation Working Group at that time newly established by the JSC) the focus of my sabbatical. After that, one thing just lead to another.
What’s your involvement with it now?
A few weeks ago I would have said an interested commentator, but as of August 19 I’ve started as chair of the FRBR Review Group. I remain involved in the RDA revision process as a member of the Examples Group. I’m very interested in seeing how the incorporation of FRBR concepts and principles will work out in the cataloguing code.
What’s one thing you think the FRBR world needs most?
Large-scale implementations in systems.
What’s your one-line non-librarian description of FRBR?
It’s all about relationships, some things are more closely related, others more distantly, others not at all. FRBR gives us the framework to capture our intuitions about these relationships.
Further reports of the IFLA conference are trickling in from my correspondents around the world, and I can reveal that Patrick LeBoeuf stepped down and now Pat Riva is chair of the FRBR Review Group. She is “Romance Languages Cataloguing Librarian / Bibliographic Database Specialist” at McGill University in Montreal (and a fellow Canadian). There is a picture of her online, taken on the occasion of her receipt in April 2004 of a certificate acknowledging her work on incorporating FRBR into AACR.
The IFLA conference is over. FRBR groups met there, as usual, and I’m told that a new Working Group on Aggregates was formed, with Ed O’Neill (from OCLC) as the chair. I’ll report on more when minutes and reports and such as posted on the web, but right now I don’t know any details. In the meantime this will probably be a quiet week here on the blog. Stay calm. Be brave. Wait for the signs.
The 71st IFLA General Conference and Council is wrapping up in Oslo today. I looked over the program of events, and saw only one mention of FRBR: FRAR: Extending FRBR Concepts to Authority Data (278 KB PDF), a talk given yesterday by Glenn Patton, who’s the chair of the working group that’s behind FRAR. (He announced a draft release of their work a couple of weeks ago.)
The PDF linked above has both the slides and text from his talk and explains everything about where FRAR comes from, where it’s at, and where it’s going. For example, and this follows up on the last post:
We have also defined a list of User Tasks. These are related to the FRBR user tasks but are specific to what catalogers do in working with authority data. The first three tasks relate to both groups of users [cataloguers and library users] while the fourth task relates solely to the first group of users [cataloguers].
Find: Find an entity or set of entities corresponding to stated criteria (i.e., to find either a single entity or a set of entities using an attribute or relationship of the entity as the search criteria).
Identify: Identify an entity (i.e., to confirm that the entity represented corresponds to the entity sought, to distinguish between two or more entities with similar
Contextualize: Place a person, corporate body, work, etc. in context; clarify the relationship between two or more persons, corporate bodies, works, etc.; or clarify the relationship between a person, corporate body, etc. and a name by which that person, corporate body, etc. is known.
Justify: Document the authority record creator’s reason for choosing the name or form of name on which an access point is based.
I’ll be tracking all of the FRAR developments here too, and if a group is formed to apply the same model to subject headings, I’ll follow that too.
I was doing a bit of research on metadata, and found Guidance on the Structure, Content, and Application of Metadata Records for Digital Resources and Collections (available as 270 KB PDF), written in 2003 by the IFLA Cataloguing Section Working Group on the Use of Metadata Schemas. Some of the people on the group have done a lot with FRBR, too, such as Lynne Howarth, Glenn Patton, Barbara Tillett, and Maja Žumer, which probably explains the appendix that attracted my attention. And if something’s FRBR-related and attracts my attention, you know where it ends up: here.
The report defines ten basic metadata elements, and in Appendix One they map these to FRBR’s four user tasks. Just to jog your memory, here are those tasks:
- to find entities that correspond to the user’s stated search criteria (i.e., to locate either a single entity or a set of entities in a file or database as the result of a search using an attribute or relationship of the entity);
- to identify an entity (i.e., to confirm that the entity described corresponds to the entity sought, or to distinguish between two or more entities with similar characteristics);
- to select an entity that is appropriate to the user’s needs (i.e., to choose an entity that meets the user’s requirements with respect to content, physical format, etc., or to reject an entity as being inappropriate to the user’s needs);
- to acquire or obtain access to the entity described (i.e., to acquire an entity through purchase, loan, etc., or to access an entity electronically through an online connection to a remote
That’s from page 82 of the original FRBR report, section 6, “User Tasks.”
Now, when I think of FRBR, I think first of the work-expression-manifestation-item hierarchy, but I need to pay more attention to the user tasks, which after all are the entire reason for FRBR’s existence. (Barbara Tillett has stressed their importance in talks about how FRBR has caused the change from Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules to Resource Description and Access. See, for example, the talk she gave in June about RDA (4.2 MB PDF).)
Here’s the mapping of the ten metadata elements to the user tasks (I’ve shortened the element names for space):
|Conditions of Use||x|
There are similar tables in the FRBR report, but I thought it was interesting to see the user tasks come up in this work on metadata schemas. Has anyone done one for Dublin Core terms, just for completeness?
I don’t know the current status of that metadata working group, but last year Lynne Howarth talked about what comments the report received. Their choice of ten elements wasn’t too popular.
ColLib is a mix of open access harvesting, tagging, and a wiki. It collects information about papers that are freely available on the web, and lets you assign tags to say what they’re about. Then it groups together everything with the same tags.
colLib harvests metadata-records from OAI-PMH-compliant repositories and enables manual ‘tagging’ of these records to cluster them by subject or other meaningful categories. Tags are represented by pages in a wiki, that can be annotated with links to related tags, external links and any other text deemed relevant.
I mention this because it has four articles listed under FRBR. They may be new to you; if not, it could be worth watching the page to see how it grows, or to help it grow.
Thom Hickey points out how OCLC’s Open WorldCat uses some of their FRBR work, and so does Lorcan Dempsey. (They both work at OCLC.) For example, here’s The Three Musketeers (the Oxford Classics edition) by Alexandre Dumas. Select the Editions tab and you’ll see twenty-five manifestations of this work.
This work is part of a larger one, incidentally, you might say a superwork, consisting of it, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne. The latter is usually published in English as three separate books: Louise de la Valliere, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, and The Man in the Iron Mask. They were all first published as newspaper serializations. With the enormous number of translations, adaptations, and derivative works (including, for example, awful stuff like that song by Sting, Bryan Adams, and Rod Stewart at the end of the avoidable 1993 movie version), mapping it all out in the FRBR model would be a lot of work. Maybe you could make a dissertation out of it. Better yet, read all the original three (or five) books if you haven’t. They’re masterpieces.