I'd like to give my version of explanation of the relation between FRBR 
and Bibframe.

The FAQ states quite briefly

"BIBFRAME Work identifies the conceptual essence of something; a 
BIBFRAME Instance reflects the material embodiment of a Work; a BIBFRAME 
Authority identifies a thing or concept associated with a BIBFRAME Work 
or Instance; and a BIBFRAME Annotation provides a new way to expand the 
description of a BIBFRAME Work, Instance, or Authority. "

Although close to the conceptual model of FRBR, Bibframe classes can be 
modeled by a sort of a "reduction" or "information extraction" procedure 
like this:

- extract all conceptual core descriptions from the FRBR classes - that 
is, what is author-controlled and not owned or handled by publishers, 
vendors, sellers, companies, intermediates, readers, libraries, patrons. 
It's the author's name, the title of the author's work, the mode of the 
work (text, sound, image, ...) Repeat that for an artist or a translator 
who realizes other work versions of the original work. Put that into 
bf:Work classes.

- extract all publisher-controlled information out of the FRBR classes - 
the name of the publisher, the decision about the publication structure 
(issuance, edition, version), the date and place of publication, the 
carrier, the physical extent, the tags like ISBN/ISSN, the prices for 
the product, all the addresses and names the publisher gave to the 
author's work etc. Put that into bf:Instance classes.

- extract all library-controlled information out of the FRBR classes - 
the formal description, the classification, the subject cataloging, the 
call number, the shelf location, authority control information, (maybe 
also descriptions of the library service for access to printed and 
electronic resources, it's not clear right now) etc. Put that also into 

- optionally, capture additional information that is created by 
companies/vendors/sellers/intermediates/readers and is somehow related 
to the author's work into bf:Annotation classes.

- optionally, lift some of the information recorded in bf:Work or 
bf:Instance to a "higher level of trust" by adding bf:Authority classes.

What helps me to understand the Bibframe model is the changing scope of 
information control over time, during the lifecycle of a work. It does 
matter who is allowed to add or modify information. This is reflected 
well in the Bibframe model.

I hope this makes sense, and demonstrates that Bibframe modeling by 
using a reduction procedure can also be applied to all kind of 
information found in bibliographic resources, be it MARC or another 
format, of course also RDA information sets.

Although, I would like a clearer separation of publisher-controlled and 
library-controlled information. It may help later to attach ONIX or 
something similar to Bibframe seamlessly, or an ontology for enterprise 
resource management. And most of the library's added information is 
metadata which is not changing the physical nature of the publisher's 
manifestation in bf:Instance. So bf:Instance sounds not like a good 
class name choice for that, maybe a new bf:Service class (as a subclass 
of bf:Instance) would be an option?

It reveals also there is a "metadata production chain" from the author 
to the reader/user, completely independent of library catalog rules. It 
can be predetermined which Bibframe data sets must be touched for the 
purpose of efficiently creating or updating catalogs. The less data sets 
must be touched for updates, the better (e.g. adding holdings to a union 

And Bibframe can explain to the public what is happening with works in 
the library space. It helps tracking the path of a work from the 
author's idea of creating a work to the reader in the library who is 
searching for it. Still, Bibframe isn't complete yet, and needs a lot of 


Am 23.05.13 17:19, schrieb Laura Krier:
> I apologize if this is an issue that has already been covered, but I 
> just want to get some clarity.
> In BIBFRAME, a work might be approximately the equivalent of a FRBR 
> expression? An instance might be approximately equivalent to a FRBR 
> manifestation? And items would be expressed in annotations?