A weblog following developments around the world in FRBR: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.

Maintained by William Denton, Web Librarian at York University. Suggestions and comments welcome at wtd@pobox.com.

Confused? Try What Is FRBR? (2.8 MB PDF) by Barbara Tillett, or Jenn Riley's introduction. For more, see the basic reading list.

Books: FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed by Robert Maxwell (ISBN 9780838909508) and Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools edited by Arlene Taylor (ISBN 9781591585091) (read my chapter FRBR and the History of Cataloging).


June 2006
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Example 1: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Posted by: William Denton, 13 June 2006 7:07 am
Categories: Examples

Here’s a quick example of how J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire looks when FRBRized. None of the links go anywhere, it’s incomplete, and it has no details about manifestations and nothing about items. It’s a rough example of a FRBRized bibliographic description of this particular work. Hover your mouse pointer over any of the links to see what the relationship is: is it a related work, an expression, a manifestation, or what. I’ve grouped some expressions together to make it easier to navigate. It’s a quick hack, but leave a comment or suggestion if you have one. I’ll improve it.

We need more examples, more things to point at and say, “Here’s why FRBR will make things better.”. Do one of your own and let me know about it and I’ll link to it. What would a library catalogue interface to this book look like? An online bookstore? What if someone wants to borrow the first available copy and they don’t care what edition? Would there be a “Reserve first available copy” button? What if they want the first available large print edition but don’t care if it’s hardcover or paperback?

I was going to do a Lord of the Rings example based on the 2006 FRBR Challenge, but that got complicated right off because of the work-within-a-work nature of the three books in the trilogy.


  1. Harry Potter in FRBR

    Over on the FRBR blog, William Denton had produced a FRBR-ised version of that fine literary work Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. At last a FRBR example that I can identify with! It’s quite a detailed example and I thought I’d have a g…

    Trackback by Internet Alchemy — 13 June 2006 @ 4:28 pm
  2. Another interseting question: What information is present, and what information is missing from today’s standard practice MARC record, to support the information in that display? Cause some of that stuff is there, but much of it just isn’t.

    Excellent demonstration, thanks.

    Comment by Jonathan — 13 June 2006 @ 7:10 pm
  3. Fascinating to see it in RDF, Ian!

    Jonathan, that’s a good question. A bunch of MARC records are collected at the book’s entry in LibraryThing, along with a whack of translations, which anyone can use if they want to expand this. I’ll beef up my example and have a closer look at the MARC records.

    I noticed is that the American edition (which is from an imprint of Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine Books, not Scholastic itself) has illustrations, which my Canadian edition doesn’t. I’ve never seen that edition or the drawings, but as a work of their own I think they’d be a “referential complement.” So that’s an extra wrinkle to things, and an extra Group 2 entity.

    Comment by wtd — 13 June 2006 @ 11:25 pm
  4. The Georgia libraries PINES catalogue is doing something that comes pretty close to actual use of FRBR for libraries, at least closer than my library’s catalog. Example with another Harry Potter book.

    Comment by Dominique — 15 June 2006 @ 5:36 pm
  5. [...] Plus, this is an unfinished example I found on the FRBR Blog. Example 1: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire [...]

    Pingback by Blog Frog » Blog Archive » Exercise #7. FRBR — 13 September 2006 @ 12:16 am

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