Posted by: William Denton, 24 September 2010 7:07 am
Ross Singer announced ruby-frbr, “a simple FRBR model representation to mixin to your Ruby objects.” The README says, “This library is not intended to provide the actual bibliographic attributes of the entities, just establish model and the relationships.”
story = Story.new
story.title = "The Old Man and the Sea"
story.extend(FRBR::Work) # these modules could also be included directly in the class
person = Person.new
person.name = "Ernest Hemingway"
story.add_creator(person) # or person.add_creation(story)
In developing similar work-oriented features on the Online Books Page, I’ve been implementing a similar information model. It’s simpler and more general than the FRBR WEMI stack, but it can encompass the data model of all of the catalogs from my previous post, as well as the “classic” FRBR model. In this post, I’ll describe the basics of the model, and discuss why it’s a promising basis for future catalogs.
One thing I like about this is it breaks the idea that there is a level which is Work, and another level which is Expression, and so forth. The boundaries of these levels were always vague, and part of the reason was (as with the Bible) there’s no reason to think that any two documents have…ideational and textual traditions?…which can fit into the same sets of boxes. It simply takes more levels of information to situate some books in the bibliographic universe.
Another thing I like is that it’s presented simply as inheritance, and implicitly (albeit admittedly not necessarily) monohierarchical. FRBR always seemed to me to blithely assume that the entirety of textual and literary criticism could be carried out by catalogers. Trace all the influences of works on other works? Sure, why not!
Žumer, Zeng, and Salaba, FRBR: A Generalized Approach to Dublin Core Application Profiles
According to the Singapore Framework, any development of a Dublin Core Application Profile (DCAP) has to include the creation of a domain model. DC Scholarly Works Application Profile (SWAP) was the first one explicitly using Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model in creating its domain model. FRBR has recently been extended with Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) and Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) thus forming the so-called FRBR family. This paper first further develops the SWAP domain model to incorporate the FRBR family models. Then a generalized FRBR family-based DCAP domain model is presented to be used as the basis for specific domain application profiles.
VTLS’s RDA Sandbox
VTLS announced the RDA Sandbox, where for $60 you can play around with a cataloguing program and a bunch of FRBRized data to get a better idea of what it’s like to use RDA.
The RDA Sandbox is a special program sponsored by VTLS Inc., designed to provide tools by which Libraries and librarians can practice creating MARC records following the Resource Description and Access (RDA) Implementation One Scenario. That is, creating Work, Expression, and Manifestation records as defined in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR).
As a participant in the program you will have access to a Virtua™ database with over 250,000 MARC FRBRized linked records (Work, Expression, and Manifestations). You will also be provided with a specially customized Virtua cataloging client which will allow you to create, modify, and delete your own RDA records. Special documentation and email support will be available to help you get started. Learn RDA by playing in our Sandbox!
Dempsey, The Idea of FRBR
In The idea of FRBR, Lorcan Dempsey (an interesting Twitterer) looks up Newman’s The Idea of a University and is thrown into some edition-inspired FRBRy musings.
Indiana University is pleased to announce the public (very Beta) release of Scherzo, a music discovery system designed as a testbed of the FRBR conceptual model. The system may be accessed at <http://vfrbr.info/search>. A product of the IMLS-funded Variations/FRBR project, Scherzo is an early proof of concept for what a library catalog built according to FRBR principles might look like. The current released system is most certainly not a finished product; rather it represents an attempt to share in-progress development work with interested individuals. It is (and will continue to be) far from perfect, and the Variations/FRBR project team hopes these very imperfections help to promote community discussion on the utility of the FRBR model and how feasible mechanisms to automatically FRBRize MARC bibliographic and authority records are likely to be. We welcome and intend to participate in public discussion on this system and the issues it raises. In addition, specific feedback may be sent to vfrbr@email@example.com
Scherzo currently contains records representing approximately 80,000 sound recordings from the holdings of Indiana University’s renowed William and Gayle Cook Music Library in the Jacobs School of Music. Work on Scherzo to date has focused most heavily on FRBR Work identification from MARC and basic results display in a FRBRized environment. While we have paid some attention to user interface design, it is not our project’s primary concern. The search system currently resides on a test server; while we expect the service to be generally available, please excuse any temporary down time or unexpected restarts.
In the relatively short term, we have a number of planned improvements to the system, including a keyword search, improved Work identification processes, representing more specific roles that Group 2 entities have to Group 1 entities (beyond created by, realized by, and produced by defined in the FRBR reports), and bulk download of the source data powering this system in XML. In the slightly longer term we hope to make the source data available as Linked Data as well.
A few days later Riley announced she’s moving to the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill to be Head of the Carolina Digital Library and Archives. She’s done great work at Indiana and I wish her all the best in her new job, and I hope the FRBR work at Indiana carries on as successfully as before.
FRBR first appeared twelve years ago, and although many of its basic concepts are well known, how many of your staff have read and understand the complete text? Do you know that, for example, chapter six explains how to talk about FRBR with library administrators and public service librarians? This presentation will describe in greater detail our active training methods for FRBR. Our novel and effective program engages the entire cataloging staff with an interactive digress.it blog facilitating a group close reading, hands-on simulations with small groups working together with hundreds of strings of different colored yarn, and debriefing to build consensus about how next-gen tools will be implemented. The active process empowers library staff and the observations from the debriefing foreshadow the major issues that will be faced in implementing new tools at a particular library. This training session is aimed at cataloging managers to help empower their staff with new tools, anticipate challenges in implementation, and build team morale.
Surely conceptual models of the bibliographic universe are exciting enough on their own that we don’t need to worry about morale!
Webinar: FRBR as a Foundation for RDA
Here’s another one: FRBR as a Foundation for RDA. It’s presented by Robert Maxwell, author of FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed, which is excellent, so it should be worth it.
Description: This webinar will cover the basics of FRBR, including its development and contents. Participants will leave the webinar with an understanding of the entity-relationship model on which FRBR is based, the FRBR entities and relationships, and the FRBR user tasks. The webinar will then address, through an exploration of RDA itself, how FRBR lies at the foundation of RDA’s structure, and what implications that might have on future database structures for our catalog descriptions.
(C&CQ is published by Taylor & Francis, and SHERPA/RoMEO says they allow preprints to be archived by the author, so I’m able to put it up for public access. My thanks to C&CQ and Jane Schmidt, the book review editor.)
At the moment, the RDF from legislation.gov.uk is limited to largely bibliographic information. We have made use of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and the MetaLex vocabularies, primarily to relate the different types of resource we are making available. FRBR has the notion of a work, expressions of that work, manifestations of those expressions, and items. Similarly, MetaLex has the concepts of a BibliographicWork and BibliographicExpression. In the context of legislation.gov.uk, the identifier URIs relate to the work. Different versions of the legislation (current, original, different points in time, or prospective) relate to different expressions. The different formats (HTML, HTML Snippets, XML, and PDF) relate to the different manifestations. We have also made extensive use of Dublin Core Terms, for example to reflect that different versions apply to geographic extents. This is important as, for example, the same section of a statute may have been amended in one way as it applies in Scotland and in another way for England and Wales. We think FRBR, MetaLex, and Dublin Core Terms have all worked well, individually and in combination, for relating the different types of resource that we are making available.
All of the catalogs above, then, are somewhat “FRBR-like”, but they don’t fully implement the FRBR functional or data model. I’m not sure, though, how closely they need to conform to those models. I can see room for improvement in each catalog, but they all seem to work well enough to have gained notable user communities.
… So I’m very interested in seeing how well catalogs and records designed along FRBR lines work in practice. I’m also piloting some prototypes of FRBR-like features on The Online Books Page, and I hope to have more to say about them shortly.
Weinheimer casts pods
James Weinheimer has started a podcast, Cataloging Matters, and two of the first three are a propos. He posts full transcripts, too.
Cataloging Matters #1 : “As an aside, I want to point out that I always say F-R-B-R and not ‘ferber’, because personally, I have always considered ‘ferber’ to be a very ugly word, and while others are perfectly free to say it, I simply choose not to. Therefore, I say F-R-B-R and if the word ‘ferber’ should slip out, realize that I have just humiliated myself terribly and I promise to do my best never to say it again.”
Christopher Gutteridge has “invented a new Batman villain:” The Modeller. “Over the 3 issues there’s a running subplot about the modelers master weapon, the FRBR, which everyone knows is very very powerful but when the citizens of Gotham talk about it none of them can quite agree on exactly what it does.”
McDonough et al, Twisty Little Passages Almost All Alike
Humanities scholars and librarians both confront questions regarding the boundaries of texts and the relationships between various editions, translations and adaptations. The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Final Report from the International Federation of Library Associations has provided the library community with a model for addressing these questions in the bibliographic systems they create. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project has been investigating FRBR’s potential as a model for the description of computer games and interactive fiction. While FRBR provides an attractive theoretical model, the complexity of computer games as works makes its application to such software creations problematic in practice.
Taylor and Teague, FRBR in Practice
FRBR in Practice by Wendy Taylor and Kathy Teague, is from Ariadne 64 (July 2010).
The Royal National Institute of Blind People National Library Service (RNIB NLS) was formed in 2007 as a result of a merger between the National Library for the Blind (NLB) and the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Library and Information Service. It is the largest specialist library for readers with sight loss in the UK. RNIB holds the largest collection of books in accessible formats in the UK and provides a postal service to over 44,000 readers. RNIB produces its own books in braille, giant print and audio format for loan and sale. It is our role to ensure that all our stock is catalogued and classified so that RNIB staff and our blind and partially sighted readers are able to find and obtain what they need through the RNIB accessible online catalogue.
We have been working with two library management systems (LMS) since the merger and are now in the process of tendering for a new LMS to integrate our bibliographic data. We are anticipating the launch of the new LMS to our readers in the fourth quarter of 2011. We feel that it is an opportune moment to review our cataloguing practice and investigate the possibility of cataloguing the accessible format, e.g. braille at the manifestation level rather than as a holding attached to the bibliographic record describing the print book, like all other libraries for the Blind around the world. The disadvantage of this cataloguing method is the proliferation of records for each title. But we think that the negative effect could be corrected by Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). In order to test this theory we needed to have a better understanding of FRBR and how it actually works. We applied for and were awarded the Ulverscroft/IFLA Best Practice Award to fund our trip to the Celia Library.
It’s All About the Relationships — In Serials, In FRBR, In Life: An Interview with Olivia Madison
“It’s All About the Relationships—In Serials, in FRBR, in Life: An Interview with Olivia M. A. Madison,” by Lori Osmus Kappmeyer, appeared in The Serials Librarian 57: 1/2 (July 2009) (DOI: 10.1080/03615260802680117), but I seem to have missed pointing it out.
ABSTRACT: Olivia M. A. Madison talks about her roles in the library profession and how her career developed along with them, most importantly the unanticipated relationships connecting the elements of her career. She discusses the influence of serials work on her career, her cataloging experiences, the early days of OCLC, her work in CC:DA, her adventures at IFLA, the development of FRBR, the future of bibliographic control, and her development as a librarian at Iowa State University.
Singer and Coyle on public-lld
Finally, there was a lot of mailing list discussion about FRBR, but I’ll just grab two quotes from a thread on the public-lld mailing list about linked data, first from Ross Singer in Re: RDA and ranges:
When I look at the vocabularies coming out surrounding RDA (and FR*), I cannot help but think their complicated models and arcane rules to apply them (especially without a freely available text for somebody to figure them out) is completely disjoint with how we’ve almost universally decided the future of bibliographic metadata creation will be realized.
2 – we have no machine-readable carrier for RDA/FRBR data
3 – we aren’t in agreement about what the FRBR entities mean
4 – IFLA is still working on defining the FR family, and changes are still happening
5 – we have a *huge* body of bibliographic data in non-RDA and non-FRBR format
I’ve done some thinking about how we could define MARC elements in RDF, but I haven’t gotten very far. However, if we are to create linked library data in any quantity before about 2020, we *are* going to need to do it without the advantages of RDA and FRBR. Where do we begin?!