Reading Kelley's response reminds me of the discussions that happened in MARBI many years ago about 'bound with' relationships. As I recall, the MARBI proposal went down because it was attempting to conflate 'bibliographic relationships' and 'physical relationships' (bound-withs), and the use cases discussed around that proposal made the problems quite clear. 

I think the same concerns apply here, and your response gives some good examples of where those distinctions are important.


On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks, Nancy, for the examples. However, I believe that all of your Works are ones that would be separate works in FRBR -- they aren't the same work, they are adaptations. And I think Kelley's question had to do with instances of the same work. (?)

Here's the way I imagine that multiple descriptions of the same work would go: in some single set of descriptions (e.g. one library's catalog), with of course a few errors and omissions, all of the data for the same work would have the same identifier. Your database may or may not store these as a single set of data, but you needn't worry about that -- that's a database function. When it is time for a user display, your display software could display the identified work only once, if that's what you want. The reality will be, however, as it is today, that cataloging descriptions will be done in a variety of environments and each of these will assign its identifiers. So we will always have the "de-duplication" problem in union catalogs and out on the web. There is a solution to that, just as we de-duplicate today, but I'm afraid that the "one work identifier for all the world" won't be in our future. But the issue is not whether the work is one-to-one with the instance, but how it is identified.

Also, I would be interested to know if there are any music specialists experimenting, since the "bound with" case is almost the norm in that area. I don't think that FRBR covers that, and yet it might solve some of the issues with aggregates. I noticed that the Xquery code turns out a "hasComponent" for music. It's not quite "bound with" because sometimes these compilations have a name of their own. (I'm actually beginning to think of all manifestations as aggregates since they aggregate what the creator created plus what the publisher has added, which may be as little as cover art but may be front matter, indexes, etc. So the creator's work is *in* the publisher's package, and it does more than simple "manifest" the work. FRBRoo takes this into account, although in a very complex way.)


On 1/24/13 4:42 PM, Fallgren, Nancy (NIH/NLM) [E] wrote:
Hi Kelley,

I'm a member of the Early Experimenters representing the National Library of Medicine.  Your posts have been greatly appreciated as they are thoughtful and constructive -- and have generated discussion among the EE's internally.  Perhaps sharing some of that discussion more broadly here will be helpful to everyone.

I think it's fair to say that the model as published in the Draft proposal is exactly that, a draft.  As a group, the EE's are collaborating to refine that draft, evaluating its merits and deficiencies and exploring changes.  Your post is timely in that we're still reviewing and looking for use cases to validate (or not) the statement that "Each BIBFRAME Instance is an instance of one and only one BIBFRAME Work."  Use cases like your Dracula films are helpful toward that end.

I'd like to offer up my own attempt at modeling the Dracula use case and confess that I did cheat a little and do some research on the 1931 Dracula films on IMdb.  It turns out that these are actually two distinct films: the Spanish language film has a different director and cast, but they were both filmed on the same set and at the same time.  From IMdb: "This Spanish-language version was filmed on the same sets and at the same time as the English-language, Bela Lugosi version of Dracula. The English-language version was filmed during the day, and the Spanish-language version was filmed at night." For more on the differences see  In addition, the writing credits at IMdb infer that both films were adaptations of the play by Deane and Balderston.   So, more than just language distinguishes these two films, which was not initially clear to me from your email.

Based on this additional info, I think that packaging the two films together is no different than binding copies of two distinct books together. i.e., these films happen to have a "boundwith" relationship in this packaging, but that may not always be true ("the English and Spanish language version of Dracula from 1931 are often packaged together").  Each book in a boundwith volume is a single item belonging to a distinct instance/manifestation (so they have distinct MARC records) but not every copy of that book is "boundwith" other books.  I would treat the two Dracula films the same way I'd treat a print boundwith.

As Jackie Shieh pointed out, each of the EE's approached the model from a slightly different perspective.  So, using a fuller RDA/FRBR definition of a work than stated in the BIBFRAME draft (i.e., defining a work as "... a distinct intellectual or artistic creation. A work is an abstract entity; there is no single material object one can point to as the work."), I might model your Dracula example like this:

(Please forgive the loose and abbreviated labeling of properties - these are not necessarily "official" BIBFRAME property labels, they are just used for expediency)

Work0 (w0)
Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker

Work1 (w1):
Title: Dracula
Author:  Hamilton Deane
Author: John L. Balderston
Relationship: Is an adaptation of w0

Work2 (w2):
Title: Dracula
Director: Tod Browning
Relationship: Is an adaptation of w1

Instance1 (w2i1):
Produced: 1931
Producer: Universal Pictures
Language: English
Format: 16mm film?
Relationship: Is an instance of w2

Instance2 (w2i2):
Original production: 1931
Date distributed: 1999
Distributor: Universal
Format: DVD
Language soundtrack: English
Language captions: French
Relationship: Is a reformatted version of w2i1
Relationship: Is an instance of w2

Item1 (w2i2#1):
Barcode: 12345
Relationship: Is packaged with w3i2#1

Item2 (w2i2#2):
Barcode: 22345
[a copy of the same instance but not packaged with the Spanish version of the film]

Work3 (w3):
Title: Dracula
Director: George Melford
Relationship: Is an adaptation of w1

Instance1 (w3i1):
Produced: 1931
Producer: Universal Pictures
Language: Spanish
Format: 16mm film?
Relationship: is an instance of w3

Instance2 (w3i2):
Original production: 1931
Date distributed: 1999
Distributor: Universal
Format: DVD
Language soundtrack: Spanish
Language captions: French
Language captions: English
Relationship: Is a reformatted version of w3i1
Relationship: Is an instance of w3

Item1 (w3i2#1):
Barcode: 12345
Relationship: is packaged with w2i2#1

Modeled this way, each instance is an instance of just one work.  I'm not necessarily saying that the statement "Each BIBFRAME Instance is an instance of one and only one BIBFRAME Work" is always valid, just that I don't think this example necessarily demonstrates that the statement is not valid.  It would be great to have additional use cases that might prove the statement either way.

In regard to your FRBR dilemma, the above Dracula model includes expression data as part of the instance record (on the assumption that, if modeled well, it can be programmatically surfaced as needed) and leaves the work record free of data that would associate it with a single material object.  I've also taken liberties with the addition of "items" although the modeling of items and holdings is currently being explored by a subgroup of EE's.

I hope you find this response both helpful and thought provoking.


Nancy J. Fallgren
Metadata Specialist Librarian
Cataloging Section
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20894-3823


Date:    Wed, 23 Jan 2013 05:28:18 +0000
From:    Kelley McGrath <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Bibframe, flexibility and FRBR

Hi Eric,=0A=
Belated thanks for your reply (and the incongruent image of a Cockney-imbue=
d version of Arrietty)=0A=
I am glad to hear Bibframe is intended to be so flexible. However, I wonder=
  if you could say more about how you plan to reconcile all this flexibility=
  with the interoperability needed in a communication format? Those two thin=
gs often seem to be at odds.=0A=
I also have a follow up question about the statement in the November report=
  "Each BIBFRAME Instance is an instance of one and only one BIBFRAME Work."=
  In the FRBR model manifestations can be linked to many expressions so how =
do you represent a manifestation (instance) embodying multiple expressions =
(works) in Bibframe? In situations like the Dracula DVD described below in =
my original post, I don't see a practical way to do what I want to do with =
the data without linking the instance/manifestation/publication to separate=
  expressions for the two movies. Of course, aggregate works are thorny and =
the FRBR working group took years to get to their final report: http://www.= It migh=
t in some cases also be useful to have what the FRBR working group is calli=
ng an aggregating work, but I don't think it can take the place of describi=
ng the separate expressions/works. And yet, this seems more like the option=
  that Bibframe is supplying. Is this a place where Bibframe consciously div=
erged from FRBR and does it mean that FRBR can't be fully implemented in Bi=
For example, the English and Spanish language version of Dracula from 193=
1 are often packaged together.=0A=
Work 1                Expression 1                        Manifestation=
Dracula (1931)    English soundtrack                DVD (1999)=0A=
English                French subtitles                    1 disc=0A=
                                                                     ISBN =
Work 2                Expression 2                        OCLC# 46829789=
Dracula (1931)    Spanish soundtrack=0A=
Spanish                English and French subtitles=0A=
Without a separate expression level, it is unclear how to prevent the wro=
ng connections from being made (work 1 has English subtitles or work 2 has =
an English soundtrack)=0A=
Work 1                        Version=0A=
Dracula (1931)            DVD (1999)=0A=
English                        1 disc=0A=
                                     ISBN  0783227450=0A=
Work 2                        OCLC# 46829789=0A=
Dracula (1931)            English soundtrack=0A=
Spanish                        French subtitles=0A=
                                     Spanish soundtrack=0A=
                                     English and French subtitles=0A=
The fact you're separating these out as 2 separate "things" (wether you cal=
l it Work or Expression) is a critical step in supporting such disambiguati=
on. MARC / AACR* conflates this and over time, various conventions have bee=
n introduced to try and minimize this ambiguity but, as you've pointed in t=
he case of moving pictures, audio, etc. this is still a huge issue.=0A=
Separating these Works out as first class resources is a first step. While =
the granularity of descriptive practices will be an issue, it should be not=
ed that not everything need be described at once.  If these Works are packa=
ged together (and one wants to describe the package), we might think about =
this package as its own Work with its specific characteristics. The key her=
e is to allow a model to evolve and allow contextual relationships that rel=
ate these Works together be introduced as needed.=0A=
From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [BIBFRAME@LISTSER=
V.LOC.GOV] on behalf of Eric Miller [[log in to unmask]]=0A=
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 12:26 PM=0A=
To: [log in to unmask]=0A=
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Bibframe, flexibility and FRBR=0A=
On Jan 6, 2013, at 8:06 PM, Kelley McGrath <[log in to unmask]> wrote:=0A=
I would also like to get a sense of the flexibility of Bibframe, especial=
ly as it relates to FRBR. It makes sense to me that Bibframe is not explici=
tly tied to the FBRB model. It needs to be hospitable to many types of data=
, all of which will not be modeled on or necessarily compatible with FRBR.=
My (and at least some other people's) initial impression of the mapping o=
f FRBR group 1 entities to Bibframe was that it would be something like=0A=
Work =3D work + expression=0A=
Instance =3D manifestation=0A=
It appears from the actual examples, that the mapping is more like=0A=
Work =3D work=0A=
Instance =3D expression + manifestation=0A=
Holdings (annotation) sort of =3D item=0A=
Interestingly, this essentially two-level mapping is very similar to what=
  OLAC did for our prototype interface for moving images (https://blazing-su=
It's surprisingly more common than one might think.=0A=
Movie =3D work + primary (usually original) expression=0A=
Version =3D current expression + manifestation=0A=
We had a table for libraries and items were modeled as a relationship bet=
ween libraries and versions (manifestations), which I think is essentially =
similar to Bibframe's holdings. The attributes of the items could then be h=
ung off the relationship.=0A=
I would be interested in any additional details you might be able to share =
on this point.=0A=
  The reasons we took this approach were practical. Most of the attributes=
  of expressions for commercial videos are what I think of as independent va=
riables. That is, the fact that this DVD has a French subtitle track has no=
  necessary connection to the fact that it has a full screen expression or t=
o what other language options are available. For every new manifestation, t=
he individual values for these types of expression have to be verified anew=
  and linking up to some sort of existing expression record would save no ti=
me over just adding them to the manifestation record. This two-level approa=
ch (we presented item location as a version attribute) also worked well for=
  display to the public.=0A=
How to display BIBFRAME data to patrons / users has yet to be fully explore=
d but we've balanced the user centered search + discovery process in from t=
he start. As part of the python MARC2bibframe codebase available on github,=
  for example, we've included a simple end user interface to show one exampl=
e of how this might look.=0A=
We're using this interface this over several 1000+ MARC->BIBFRAME record ex=
amples from various collections donated by the Early Experiments to explore=
  their data. It's been quite a useful exercise and one I hope that will be =
made public shortly. FYI, the list of the various Early Experimenters who h=
ave contributed their sample collections are listed here=0A=
However, it turned out that there were a couple situations in which this =
model did not work so well.=0A=
One is when there are multiple works on a manifestation and the expressio=
n values (such as language) related to each work vary. There was no easy wa=
y in our model to represent this.=0A=
The second case is when the expression isn't really a single independent =
variable (or couple of closely related ones such as French Dolby surround s=
oundtrack), but rather a cluster of attributes that are inherently related =
and need to be reused together. For commercial videos, these are usually di=
stinct intellectual or artistic versions (rather than things like dubbed so=
undtracks that are meant to be substitutions for accessibility). For exampl=
e, a director's cut would usually have a duration associated with it and we=
  might also know of a date or an editor. It might also need its own summary=
  and would be connected to its own reviews or other annotations.=0A=
Work                           Expression                               M=
Blade runner (1982)   Final cut (2007)                       DVD (2007)=
                                     117 min.                             =
      2 discs=0A=
                                     Review:                              =
      ISBN 9781419850028=0A=
Again an alternative interpretation of this is that Blade runner (the theat=
rical release) and Blade Runner (the extended / much better directors cut) =
are simply 2 different Works each of which share contextual relationships t=
o common resources (actors, directors, etc. etc.).  In the Work associated =
with the theatrical release, I would expect to see that Editor you mentione=
In this case, the separation into different Works is important for several =
reasons, but one is simply they have very different Instances associated wi=
th them. The theatrical release came out in VHS, Beta, LaserDisc, etc. whil=
e the Directors cut was released later in DVD, BluRay, etc.  I'm a bit emba=
rrassed to say I have just about all of these ;)=0A=
There are also rare cases where even for information that we would normal=
ly consider as an isolated, independent variable, there is additional infor=
mation that one would want to keep together. For example, many of Miyazaki'=
s animated films have been dubbed into English with big name voice casts. I=
  once came across a Criterion Collection DVD of a Japanese film that offere=
d for comparison two different English subtitle tracks translated by two di=
fferent scholars.=0A=
Ha! It may be a rare case, but the fact there are 2 *different* dubbed into=
  English versions of Miyazaki's "The Secret World of Arrietty"  has caused =
all sorts of problems for my kids. The en-uk dubbed version (with slight co=
ckney accent) is included in the Miyazaki collection that played over and o=
ver this holiday break. My children found this version to be a very differe=
nt experience from the other US based / big name voice cast we have. ;)=0A=
In this case, I'd assert there are 3 separate Works (the original in japane=
se, the one dubbed into en-uk and the one dubbed into en-us which include t=
he voices of various famous actors, etc.).=0A=
Expressions that consist of a cluster of related attributes are particula=
rly important for musical expressions (performers, conductor, location, dat=
e, arrangement) and also some literary works.=0A=
It is also unclear to me whether it is possible to realize the full poten=
tial of RDA without the ability to encode all the FRBR group 1 entities sep=
I can see why the focus on translation from MARC led to the existing mode=
l. It is clearly the most practical approach for legacy data. Although many=
  researchers have tried, no one has found an effective way to automate the =
identification of expressions in legacy data. It is not always possible eve=
n with manual review.=0A=
Agreed. And that is why the translation from MARC is only one of several of=
  the factors that went into the BIBFRAME design. For BIBFRAME we tried to b=
alance the following:=0A=
* Flexibility to accommodate future cataloguing domains, and entirely new u=
se scenarios and sources of information=0A=
* The Web as an architectural model for expressing and connecting decentral=
ized information=0A=
* Social and technical adoption outside the Library community=0A=
* Social and technical deployment within the Library community=0A=
* Previous efforts in expressing bibliographic material as Linked Data=0A=
* Application of machine technology for mechanical tasks while amply accomm=
odating the subject matter expert (the librarian) as the explicit brain beh=
ind the mechanics.=0A=
* Previous efforts for modeling bibliographic information in the library, p=
ublishing, archival and museum communities=0A=
* The robust and beneficial history and aspects of a common method of bibli=
ographic information transfer=0A=
The current BIBFRAME list discussion as focused on the translation to MARC =
(i believe) simply because sample translation code has been made available.=
  As cataloging use-cases, end-user scenarios (very important), vocabulary b=
rowsers, more tools, more examples, etc. are made available i anticipate a =
shift in the dialog.=0A=
  However, it seems to me that Bibframe does need to support the separatio=
n of all the WEMI entities, as well as the best possible environment for en=
tering new data going forward. Perhaps there could be some parallel way to =
allow the creation of a Bibframe work record for an expression with an inst=
ance record that only describes the manifestation and that is linked as fol=
Bibframe Work (FRBR work) --> Bibframe Work (FRBR expression) --> Bibfram=
e Instance (FRBR manifestation)=0A=
The above model is certainly accomplishable from a BIBFRAME perspective. Th=
e named relationships e.g "-->" however are critical. What we call these Cl=
asses is important, but more so are the relationships that contextualize th=
(Thing -- hasExpression --> Thing) conveys some meaning.  But if hasExpress=
ion is a high level, general relationship that is a surrogate for more usef=
ul detail, I'd encourage the use of richer relationships.=0A=
(Thing -- hasTranslation | hasVariant | hasPart | isBasisFor, etc. --> Thin=
g) conveys more useful and actionable context. In a Linked Data / Web envir=
onment, theses contextual relationships are key.=0A=
I also wonder how hardcoded the mapping of attributes to Bibframe classes=
  is going to be.=0A=
The initial code bases build their mappings from declarative mapping tables=
. Quick changes to these tables change the results. I would like to see thi=
s be abstracted away in place of a more configurable, end user interface to=
  allow more customized, collection-specific mappings to be performed. Unfor=
tunately, we're just not there yet.=0A=
For example, there was a post that suggested that actors would probably b=
e mapped to instances.=0A=
While different groups are exploring different ways of modeling this, In th=
e current BIBFRAME model (and from my perspective) that would be incorrect.=
  Actors (1xx, 7xx) would be defined as relationships contextualizing Works =
and People.=0A=
For film actors, this is counter to the approach that makes sense to the =
moving image cataloging community. The majority of film actors should be as=
sociated with the work. This also makes sense from the point of view of eff=
icient data modeling since we want to reuse the list of actors from the wor=
k record in all instances rather than recording them redundantly at the ins=
tance level. Will there be any mechanism in Bibframe to accommodate differi=
ng viewpoints such as these?=0A=
Yes (but in this particular case I think there is a shared viewpoint).=0A=
Thanks for your insightful email. I hope this response helps.=0A=
Eric Miller=0A=
President, Zepheira "The Art of Data"=0A= tel:+1.617.395.0229=0A=

Karen Coyle
[log in to unmask]
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet