My thinking about complete works has evolved as I've had experience using RDA in practice. There are two possibilities. Either each publication of the complete works is a different aggregate work, or each publication of the complete works is the same aggregate work, and various versions (that are truly different) are different expressions.
It is now my opinion that an author's complete works is a single aggregate work, and that differences between versions are at the expression level. I've attempted to describe these both ways and treating them as a single aggregate work just seems to work better. (This despite the fact that we know that variations do occur--it is longstanding and quite practical cataloger practice to take a resource at its face value, so if it says "complete works" we assume that it is and don't need to compare to make sure.)
So I would say that in the case of Shakespeare, his complete works should be described on a single work description. I wouldn't think there would be series treatment here because that's only one aspect of this aggregate work, and not all, probably not even a majority of these publications are issued as series. Further, I'm coming to the conclusion that series or not is an artificial aspect that we use as an organizing principle, and it happens at the expression level and so options to treat (or not) an expression as a series should be described there. (Again, I'm not saying different series make different expressions, just that we as catalogers may choose to describe an expression as a series or not depending on the circumstances.)
Unlike the case of the English publications of the Chronicles of Narnia, which I believe are all the same expression (no obvious differences in the text), the English publications of Shakespeare (to say nothing of translations) *are* for the most part different expressions--as we all know for most of these, at least the scholarly editions, scholars labor over the text to figure out just what the "true" text of Shakespeare was, and hence come up with different texts (i.e. different expressions). So there is in fact a need to differentiate, but at the expression level. So the Riverside Shakespeare is different from the Pelican Shakespeare, not because the aggregate work is different, but because the expressions are different from each other and from others (e.g. from the First Folio). This calls, in my opinion, for a different authority description and a different authorized access point, because users do indeed think which version they get is important. But the fact that the Riverside Shakespeare has been published more than once doesn't mean that it exists in two different expressions (unless the new publication says revised edition or something). (Note: this points out another problem with the AACR2 authority records--there are more than one authority record in the file for the Riverside Shakespeare expression because of the LCRI practice [not required by AACR2] of adding a date of publication to Works uniform titles--again, the organizing principle was different--not necessarily worse or better, just different.)
I would create these access points something like this (including "English" to show the language of the expression, but that's something of a red herring to the current point, which is that there should be one and only one description of each expression, which would include one and only one authorized access point, however it's formed).
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Works. English (First Folio)
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Works. English (Pelican Shakespeare)
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Works. English (Riverside Shakespeare)
These are separate expressions because they have significantly different texts. Any of these expressions might be published either as a single volume, as a multi-volume work (e.g. in three volumes), or as a series. One could take facsimile images of the individual plays in the First Folio (or the exact text of the Pelican or Riverside) and publish each separately rather than in a single volume, so that the aggregate could be considered a series, but the *expression* is still the same. If that happens I would say we should record information about this format of the aggregation in the (single) record for the expression, with information addressed to the cataloger about how to treat it when it appears in the form of a series; but it is still the same expression, and *that* is what is of interest to most users, not whether the plays have been split up into separate volumes or are published in a single volume. So in my opinion it is the expression we need to be emphasizing and leading people to through our linking records (which include authorized access points).
As for "... Works. Selections", I believe that (unlike complete works, which are by definition "complete" even though we know there are sometimes variations) selections are by their very nature always (or at least nearly always) different aggregate *works*, *not* different expressions, and so they will start out differentiated at the work level. So yes, each group of selections should have its own work level NAR, and related expression level NARs as necessary. And following from what I said above, I'd say information about whether the expression sometimes appears as a series or not should be recorded in the expression level record. (And yes, why not be able to record that a particular expression appears in more than one series by including multiple 643s or whatever, with instructions if necessary by each for treatment?)
Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Cataloger
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Jenifer K Marquardt <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: order of language and publisher qualifiers
Would all the complete works of Shakespeare, for instance, be accounted for on one SAR unless there was enough difference to determine that a new expression existed? When the aggregate work is the complete works of an author, it certainly could get difficult to sort out what a library has and doesn't have (collection management and user needs aspect) if everything were all together on one series. It might be difficult to know if someone has already determined that a particular version of the complete works does not require a new expression SAR unless we allow more 643 fields to be included.
And then the case of Works. Selections - would those be assumed to be DIFFERENT expressions, each with its own SAR?
I'm glad that we are having these discussions about different aspects of series. Different perspectives are often so insightful!
Jenifer K. Marquardt
Asst. Head of Cataloging & Authorities Librarian
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-1641
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Stephen Hearn [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 12:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] order of language and publisher qualifiers
The thing about aggregate works is that they're not always worth describing. I agree that the aggregate work which a critical edition typically is generally does not need to be described. The access to that edition can be managed in other ways. The argument is that these series could be an aggregate work case that is worth describing, and not just because we've done it that way in the past, but because we've had reasons to do it that way, reasons related to user needs and collection management.
On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 9:33 AM, McDonald, Stephen <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
I’m not sure I buy that argument. The same argument could be made with any edition of a single work—new cover art, new introduction, and new glossary does not make an edition into a new Expression. It is a Manifestation. An edition with new cover art and introduction is not considered a new aggregate Work. Only when there is significant additional material, such as a critical analysis, is it considered an aggregate work. I think Bob is arguing that the same should be true of series.
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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Stephen Hearn
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] order of language and publisher qualifiers
The counter argument I'd make to Bob's well reasoned one is that series editions of multipart literary works are not being identified as expressions of the literary work. They're being identified as separate aggregate works containing the literary work, in addition to other work-level content (cover art, new introductions, etc.). The series title applies to the aggregate work, not to the literary work. When it becomes an AAP, the series title needs to be qualified to distinguish one series from another and from the literary work itself. Use of the publisher name as a qualifier is a useful surrogate for a finer analysis of the aggregated components that make up the distinct series work.
I'm not trying to argue hard for this position--just to point out that there's more than one way to see these series in the light of FRBR and RDA. Adopting Bob's reading would mean a significant shift in the way PCC regards series. The one above offers a way of continuing most current practices without necessarily turning our backs on RDA.
Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
Data Management & Access, University Libraries
University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455