The FRBR model is not a law of nature. It is an idealized conceptual model. It works pretty well for things like a novel created by a lone artist working in his garret. Others have shown that it doesn't really work for serials.
I know it's a heresy, but I submit that a series is not really a work, and it serves no purpose to try to treat it as one. A series exists at the level of the manifestation. Elements like the publisher and the numbering are important attributes in identifying a series.
We shouldn't treat FRBR as a straight-jacket. Series that contain the complete works of an author are a small minority of cases, but sometimes edge cases illustrate the limits of a model. A user who is looking all the volumes in the Arden Shakespeare does not want to have to look through all the entries for Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Works. If it is important for us to identify the parts of a series, we need to be able to identify the series uniquely. By the same token, we don't need multiple identifiers for the same series just because it contains text in multiple languages.
(Over and out from Frankfurt, Germany)
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of McDonald, Stephen [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 13:36
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] order of language and publisher qualifiers
I think you misunderstood me. I mentioned that a critical edition might actually be considered an aggregate, but that’s not what I was talking about. I was talking about an ordinary new edition of a single Work. A new edition, with new cover art, new publisher, and new introduction, is not considered a new Expression—it is a Manifestation of the same Expression as the original edition. So why should a new edition of a series, with new cover art, new publisher, and new introduction, be considered a new Expression of the original series? Why should that get a new series authority record, when you wouldn’t make a new authority record for a new edition of a single Work? Why should a new edition of a series be considered a new aggregate work if the only differences are publisher, cover art, and maybe introduction? What makes that an aggregate work?