Discussion Paper: Instructions for Recording Structured Descriptions of Related Manifestations

CC:DA/TF/Instructions for Recording Relationships/6
22 December 2014

Instructions for Recording Structured Descriptions of Related Manifestations

Nathan Putnam, Chair, Task Force to Investigate the Instructions for Recording Relationships in RDA

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9 Responses to Discussion Paper: Instructions for Recording Structured Descriptions of Related Manifestations

  1. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    On p. 3, issue 2, do you mean “container of” rather than “contained in?”

  2. Chair says:

    Comments from Francis Lapka, Yale Center for British Art:

    I applaud the task force for tackling the thorny issue of aggregates, and I’m glad that your work is moving us forward on the issue.

    On page 4, you write:

    11) The Task Force believes that, most often, a description of each part that consists of information recorded from the manifestation will be the most useful way of creating and presenting the contents information. However, this is a recommended “best practice” and the instructions should allow for recording the contents of the work or the expression or the item. With the present lack of RDA application profiles, it would seem to be important for our proposal to address preferred practice, as well as the general range of what should be allowed. This is a good example: the “contained in” relationship can be recorded for any WEMI entity, but we are arguing that there are good reasons why recording it for the manifestation is the best practice – at least as long as we are encoding in MARC.

    I am keen to hear more from the TF about the reasons why it will most often be most useful to record this information from the Manifestation (and I acknowledge and appreciate that the TF makes the recommendation in the context of best practice).

    As your examples illustrate well, what we record in data about contained resources may often include a mixture of descriptions of carrier and descriptions of content. While it’s true that a description of the contained content (e.g. its title or creator) may be recorded by means of transcribing data on a Manifestation of that content – it still serves the function of describing content.

    If, as the TF recommends, we make it best practice to record descriptions of contained content from a Manifestation, we may lose some of the benefits of FRBR’s separation of content and carrier. An Expression that is an aggregate of content may appear in multiple Manifestations. The details of that aggregation of content – what the Expression contains – will be a key identifying attribute of the Expression and will be an attribute that all of its Manifestations have in common.

    • Dominique Bourassa says:

      I agree with Francis. I hope we don’t loose the distinction between content and carrier.

      I am confused by some of the examples. For instance, I am wondering why the last example on page 2 says “container of (manifestation).” To me this example should say “container of (expression).” Here you have one CD with many expressions of works. Yes, each piece is embodied in this CD but only part of the CD. In my mind, this CD is an aggregate manifestation that is an embodiment of an aggregate expression or an embodiment of many expressions.

      The FRBR Working Group on Aggregates says: “An aggregate entity is a manifestation embodying two or more distinct expressions.” About collection the group adds “Collections are aggregates of independently created expressions published together in a single manifestation such as journals (aggregates of articles) multiple novels published in a single volume, books with independently written chapters, musical CDs (aggregates of individual songs), anthologies, etc.” (http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/frbrrg/AggregatesFinalReport.pdf)

      If a collection is a “single manifestation” how could we say, “contains (manifestation),” followed by a list of separate manifestations. Indeed, as this report reminds us, “an item can only exemplify a single manifestation.” So this CD can only exemplify a single manifestation. Therefore, you can only describe the pieces in it in terms on contents/expressions. Does this make sense?

      The 3-CD set Défense de la basse de viole contre les entreprises du violon et les prétentions du violoncelle is a good example to illustrate the difference between content versus carrier. The first CD in the set has the title Défense de la basse de viole; the second, Les entreprises du violon; and the last, Les prétentions du violoncelle. To me this fit better as an example of “container of (manifestation)”? 3 carriers with 3 different titles, each containing the expressions of many works.

      • Tracey L. Snyder says:

        I have to agree with Dominique’s comments, esp. last two paragraphs. While we definitely need to be able to transcribe work titles as found on the manifestation when describing that manifestation, and we definitely need to be able to transcribe/record performer names and durations (both expression-level), the manifestation being described does not itself contain manifestations (in cases like the Salonkonzert CD), so we cannot use that designator. I think you can only say a manifestation is the container of a manifestation if you have something like what Dominique describes. If we want to keep supplying contents notes like this (and I think we probably do, for the benefit of keyword access, although the crucial elements will be the AAPs for the works and the performers, especially in a linked data world), maybe it has to be considered a note on content, or employ a designator of “container of (expression).” Its counterpart in the AAP portion of the manifestation description would be the combination of the “container of (work)” AAPs and the performer AAPs.

  3. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    Regarding the proposed instructions for “container of (manifestation)” and the use of the term “part” as discussed in discussion point #5, may I suggest instead using the term “component part?” That term is in the glossary and seems to fit here.

  4. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    It looks like the examples in the “reproduced as” and “reproduction of” sections are a little mixed up. There is a “facsimile of” example in the “reproduced as” section, and there is a “electronic reproduction” example in the “reproduction of” section.

  5. Dominique Bourassa says:

    At this stage, I appreciate the fact that you have divided the instructions according to types of relationships for manifestation. But I wish (for simplicity’s sake) that at the end we can end up with one instruction that covers structured descriptions for all related manifestations (but I realized it might not be possible).

  6. Matthew Haugen says:

    I generally agree with the above comments.

    Under the section “Reproduced as (manifestation)”, it seems the first example actually represents the reciprocal case, so perhaps it should be reversed or moved to the following section.

    Also, the instructions under “Reproduction of (Manifestation)” appear to exclude reproductions of unpublished/manuscript resources. Here is one possible way to fix that:

    Record the title proper of the related resource, by applying the instructions at 2.3.2.
    Record the title for untitled resources, by applying the instructions at and

    Record the publication statement of the related resource by applying the instructions at 2.8. Record the production statement for an unpublished related resource by applying the instructions at 2.7.

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