There’s a great new paper at D-Lib: Hierarchical Catalog Records: Implementing a FRBR Catalog by David Mimno, Gregory Crane, and Alison Jones. It’s about how they used FRBR in making a catalogue for the Perseus Digital Library, a wonderful resource holding classics. papyri, Renaissance writing, and much more.
IFLA’s Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) lay the foundation for a new generation of cataloging systems that recognize the difference between a particular work (e.g., Moby Dick), diverse expressions of that work (e.g., translations into German, Japanese and other languages), different versions of the same basic text (e.g., the Modern Library Classics vs. Penguin editions), and particular items (a copy of Moby Dick on the shelf). Much work has gone into finding ways to infer FRBR relationships between existing catalog records and modifying catalog interfaces to display those relationships. Relatively little work, however, has gone into exploring the creation of catalog records that are inherently based on the FRBR hierarchy of works, expressions, manifestations, and items. The Perseus Digital Library has created a new catalog that implements such a system for a small collection that includes many works with multiple versions. We have used this catalog to explore some of the implications of hierarchical catalog records for searching and browsing.
Don’t miss the appendix (794 KB PDF) which is a printout of an XML record showing the work Vergil’s Aeneid and its expressions and manifestations. If you have the time, look at what they put in which tags for the two English translations (and the Latin version). The title and translator are in the manifestation level, but shouldn’t they be at the expression level? The publisher is at the manifestation level, which is right, and there is no item level.
Notice that at the top of their home page for Dryden’s translation of the Aeneid you can go to another English translation or a Latin version. In fact, on any page in any edition, you can jump to the identical position in another edition. (If you look at it in their new interface then the other translations are listed on the right.) I presume this is generated from the FRBR data.
There’s a screenshot in the paper of the catalogue, but I can’t find it on their web site. If you see it, please leave a comment.
(First noticed on Catalogablog.)