We’ve been following this thread with interest.  After all, it was an AVPS (AVPreserve) report that introduced the concept of Content with respect to bf:Work and bf:Event.

Kara Van Malssen authored the report, but she is unavailable to offer a timely comment on this thread so I’d like to provide a few clarifying notes to the conversation and pose a couple of questions of my own.  The former stems from our internal chatter about this thread and represents a general consensus of our thinking on this matter.  The latter are all my own and should not be construed as representing AVPS.

Kara’s excellent study does propose the creation a new class, bf:Content.  Notably, however, Kara proposed bf:Work and bf:Event would be sub-classes of bf:Content (said another way, bf:Content would be a super-class of bf:Work and bf:Event). This detail is important because 1) the current LC proposal declares bf:Content to be a subclass of bf:Work, which is the inverse of what was proposed in the 2014 report, and 2) we want to note that the 2014 proposal to create bf:Content was partly the expression of a conceptual idea and partly to address domain/range restrictions in the Bibframe model.  Although LC’s proposal on this topic does not reflect, verbatim, AVPreserve’s 2014 report recommendations – so please do not construe this as a defensive response - we do think the distinction between the two proposals worthy of discussion.

bf:Work connotes that some effort of (intentional?) intellectual or artistic creation went into the resource.  Even though bf:Work is actually not defined in this way [1], our community has imbued so much meaning in the word “Work” that it is has proven impossible to approach the concept of Work in a more abstract sense.  An Event, however, is not defined in terms of ‘intellectual or artistic creation’ but of a moment in time and space, and without any assumption that whatever occurred was by design. Skipping over the survey of evidence on these points (see the report [2]), the report concluded – above everything – that an Event concept is vital for description (of A/V material) and that the concept is distinct from a Work, but that an Event, when applicable, can be and should be related to a Work.
But the report went further:  bf:Content super-class was proposed as an expression of the conceptual recognition that these two things are distinct yet strongly related, so strongly in fact that they could each be abstracted and recognized as the same thing, which was called “Content.”   (There is much more in the report that explores this concept and I refer you to it for any further explanation [2]. Also, let’s not quibble over the name "Content" – there may be something better and there mightn’t – because it’s not the point.)

Beyond the conceptual recognition, the proposal to create the super-class had a practical purpose too: the Bibframe vocabulary declares specific domains and ranges for bf:Work and, as noted in the 2014 report, a number of properties that define bf:Work as their domain are also applicable to bf:Event. With bf:Content as an abstract super-class, the domains and ranges that needed to be shared between bf:Work and bf:Event could be moved up to bf:Content, thereby maintaining the expressed restrictions in the vocabulary while allowing those properties to be used by bf:Work or bf:Event.

If I recall correctly, however, I read somewhere that many of these domain/range declarations will be removed in a (near) future version of the vocabulary.  This may eliminate that domain/range consideration that led to the proposal of bf:Content altogether.  If that comes to pass, then only the conceptual idea behind Content remains, and that is not a strong enough idea to actually instantiate a bf:Content class (whether as sub-class or super-class of bf:Work).  What is important and essential to description is that a bf:Work can richly relate to a bf:Event and vice-versa within the Bibframe model and vocabulary.  This is what Tom Meehan is getting at.

Which brings me to my personal questions about the LC proposal:

    1) Is there a reason bf:Event and bf:Work cannot be treated as separate but equal?  In which case an Instance can relate directly to an Event without the proposed indirection that filters everything through Work or, more precisely, a bf:Content resource?  Therefore, if you have birdsong recorded at a specific place and time and conditions, then that is the Event.  The recording – physical or electronic – is the Instance, which is an instanceOf the Event.  No need for Content or Work – it’s just a relationship between the Instance and the Event.   Such as:

  a bf:Event ;
  rdfs:label "Sooty oystercatcher song." ;
  bf:eventDate "2016-02-04" ;
  bf:eventPlace <http://example.org/places/lady-eilliot-island> .

  a bf:Instance ;
  rdfs:label "Recording of sooty oystercatcher song." ;
  bf:instanceOf <http://example.org/resource/1> .

    2) Is there a particularly strong reason why the bf:Content construct is being proposed here?  Another way to ask this question:  if you remove bf:Content from all of the examples in the LC proposal, how does that materially change anything?

    3) I’m also unclear about its definition – what is bf:Content?

All the best,


[1] http://bibframe.org/vocab/Work
[2] http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/docs/pdf/bibframe-avmodelingstudy-may15-2014.pdf

Kevin Ford | AVPreserve
Chicago, IL | 773 294 9019 | [log in to unmask]

hq: 253 36th St, Suite C302, Brooklyn, NY 11232
http://www.avpreserve.com | Facebook.com/AVPreserve | twitter.com/AVPreserve   

On 1/21/16 3:58 AM, Meehan, Thomas wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">

I find this really interesting, partly because it sometimes seems that the more common-sense view of the world we would ideally like (or that perhaps others have already built) is being constrained by the rules. In those cases, I wonder if we should use some “cataloguer judgement” on the rules if they’re holding us back.


BIBFRAME seems already happy not to slavishly follow a particular rule-set, and has declared broad intentions of “accommodating different content models and cataloging rules”. Not directly using the FRBR model (including this discussion) seems an example of this anyway.

That said, couldn’t Bibframe for example take the view that Event isn’t an Agent and define a more common-sense relationship between work and conference such as:


example:work123 bf:proceedingsOf example:conference456


In RDA terms, example:work123 is then (in most cases) an edited compilation edited by an editor, the constituent works of which may indeed have proper authors who actually wrote things.


I imagine converting records with 111s along those lines would work even if the RDA creator relationship is converted into something else.






From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Trail, Nate
Sent: 20 January 2016 21:36
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


A good argument for changing cataloging rules, but meanwhile, doesn’t bibframe need to have a place to put the 111s that have been created under the existing rules?


From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tim Thompson
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 4:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


But what do we do about cases like "Olympic Games (29th : 2008 : Beijing, China)"? Only in an insular, bibliocentric universe (in my opinion) does it make sense to say that this in an Agent rather than an Event. But it seems the only current option in BIBFRAME would be to call it a bf:Meeting. How well is that going to play on the open Web?


[1] http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no2001038783.html

Tim A. Thompson
Metadata Librarian (Spanish/Portuguese Specialty)
Princeton University Library


On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 4:10 PM, Denenberg, Ray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Nevermind “publisher”, “ALA 2016” would be the “creator” of the proceedings, right?


From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gordon, Bruce J.
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 3:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


I don't know about the ALA meeting, but the publisher of the proceedings of a conference is not the conference but the organization that holds the conference or some other entity responsible for publishing. An event isn't an agent and can't publish anything, but there are fruits of that event that can be published by an agent. There seem to have been shortcuts taken that end up conflating meanings perhaps for the sake of expediency or brevity, or the lack of a better place in which to describe.






Bruce J. Gordon

Audio Engineer

Audio Preservation Services - a shared service of the Harvard Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138



On Jan 20, 2016, at 3:38 PM, Steven Folsom <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Is "ALA Midwinter 2016" a publisher? 


Or is ALA (or some contracted service) the Publisher of the Proceedings of the ALA Midwinter 2016 Meeting? 


From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of "Trail, Nate" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 3:31 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] SV: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


Meetings as Agent and Meetings as Events: maybe they can be both, and we’re conflating them because they have the same label?


“ALA Midwinter 2016” is both a publisher and an event, and probably should have two uris, one as a madsrdf:Meeting and one as a bf:Event , each with different properties describing the different aspects of the same idea.





Nate Trail

Network Development & MARC Standards Office


LA308, Mail Stop 4402

Library of Congress

Washington DC 20540




From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]On Behalf Of Steven Folsom
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 3:20 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] SV: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


This has been a really interesting thread to monitor. Some reactions to various discussions:


1.) I think it’s worth clarifying what happens with subclassing. (I think everyone participating understands this, but it might help tease out some problematic terms.) If one class is asserted as a subclass of another, every instance of the former is always an instance of the latter. E.g.


If:  ex:Meeting rdfs:subclassOf ex:Event .


Then this statement: <Some Meeting> a ex:Meeting .


*Always* entails: <Some Meeting> a ex:Event . [Perhaps this is what was originally meant by hierarchies are “static”? Totally agree that in RDF something can exist in multiple hierarchies, but subclasses aren’t for "sometimes situations”.]


2.) Regardless of historic practice, I’m not sure I would want a Meeting to be a subclass of Agent. It’s more fitting for Meetings be treated as Events that Agents participate in.


3.) Because bf:Work and bf:Event are not (to my knowledge) asserted to be disjoint, there is nothing formal stopping us for asserting that something is both a bf:Work and bf:Event when it is the case (e.g. the performances that Tim alluded to). Depending on the Event and its relationships to other entities, it may or not BE a Work. It may or may not generate/depict/be the subject of a Work. What I’m trying to say is that because there will be so many ways we will want to refer to bf:Event they shouldn’t be pigeonholed, but there may be some Event types that we want to treat always as works (e.g. Performances). 


4.) The points I made about Works/Events above apply for Contributions and Provisions and Events. I could see a case where we want to say the “event” represented as an AuthorContribution is the subject of a book. Or occasionally wanting to use schema:Event properties (I believe suggested by Amanda) to better describe a Contribution.


5.) I too, don’t understand what the Content class adds.










From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 11:33 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] SV: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0



On 1/20/16 3:25 AM, Oddrun Ohren wrote:

Thanks Ray Denenberg for your clarifications! It might well be that life-cycle events are best kept separate from events as entities described or captured in works.

However, I still think that bf:Content (or bf:EventContent) is unnecessary, and I hope you BIBFRAME 2.0 developers will come round to the same way of thinking J.


(Concerning examples of events modeled as works, I think  Tim Thompson provided several good examples. Referring to the draft proposal, perhaps the battle re-enactment  event may be considered a work)


IMHO one should always think long and hard before solving any need for increased granularity by subclassing existing classes. Class hierarchies are static structures, and should express fairly stable knowledge. Therefore, I am wondering if you plan to do something about the bf:Work class and its subclassing into media specific sub-classes in BIBFRAME 2.0?  As far as I can see, none of the Work subclasses has additional properties (compared to Work), a fact which in itself rather defeats the purpose of subclassing. A more flexible solution would be to introduce a property “type” or similar to Work, and offer a controlled vocabulary of work types  as potential value set. A work type vocabulary would at any rate be easier to maintain through changing media types than would a set of subclasses.  Moreover, it will then be possible to use other type vocabularies in domains where  these are more relevant than the “recommended” one.

It so happens that I just did a short blog post on subclassing Work, albeit related to FRBR but possibly valid also for BIBFRAME. 

There are indeed additional properties, they just haven't been singled out as such. Any property, like "bf:musicKey" is a de facto indicator of a sub-type (aka sub-class). BIBFRAME has a number of properties whose names begin with "cartographic..." and others that begin with "music..." So the type-specific properties exist they just haven't been organized as such (something which might be useful for folks cataloging in those areas).

I disagree that subclassing is static -- at least not in RDF. Any subject can be an instance of more than one class, and classes only have impact when operated upon, as in querying. It is my understanding that in RDF it is very convenient to operate on data using classes, much more so than indicating types using values. So there may be a practical reason for sub-typing, but it doesn't have to impose limitations, AFAIK. Anyway, it's worth thinking about.

Note also that some non-library implementations of FRBR have made use of sub-typing of WEM, some even quite extensively:

The frbrCore vocabulary introduced just a few sample subtypes:



Best regards,

Oddrun Pauline Ohren


Fra: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]På vegne av Denenberg, Ray
Sendt: 19. januar 2016 20:13
Til: [log in to unmask]
Emne: Re: [BIBFRAME] Events proposal for BIBFRAME 2.0


> From: Oddrun Ohren

> • Not being sure how explicitly point *1.c*of the proposal is meant, I’d just like

> to point out that events may play other roles than being the *subject* of some

> work, 


The line "A bf:Event will be described in the same manner as other BIBFRAME Subject Types.."  is poorly worded (my fault).  Probably better would be: "An event will be described in the same manner as other external resources."

For example, a person.  While a bf:Person is a BIBFRAME resource, it consists of simply a label, and a link to an external description of the person (a MADS description, FOAF, VIAF, etc.).  That's really all that that was trying to say: the concept of a  bf:Event relies on the availability of an external description of that event. (Except that for the event, there may be some basic properties besides just the label within the BIBFRAME resource, for example date and time, but for any additional description there will have to be an external resource describing the event.)



 it might be useful to

> represent  life-cycle events of a work (launching, publication, recording)

> explicitly in some cases. At any rate we should take care that the Event class is

> not modelled in such a way that one specific role is assumed.

Event, as we currently envision it to be modeled, will not include these life-cycle events, we plan to model these differently. Tentatively, there will be a property with name something like bf:originationActivity and class bf:OriginationActivity, with subclasses like bf:Publication, bf:Distribution, and so on, and each of these will have properties like agent, date, place.



> I am not

> able to see what bf:Content contributes other than extra

> (unnecessary)  complexity… o Firstly,  it is problematic to constrain something as

> general-sounding as Content to be a capture of an Event.

We are currently considering changing the name to EventContent.


> o Secondly, if bf:depicts/bf:captures are defined as properties of both Work and

> Event (like their parent bf:subject) with expected value *any resource*

> (instances of any BIBFRAME class, including Work), there should be no need for

> bf:Content. This way, bf:depicts/bf:captures could also be used to represent the

> fact that some works capture other works (e.g. photographs of paintings).

> o Lastly, seeing that the existing subclasses of Work are more or less disjunct,

> bf:Content will create confusion, as it clearly overlaps several of the existing

> subclasses.

These are good points and we will need to discuss them.



> It will also be possible to represent

> events as a work where appropriate, without losing the possibility to express

> information about capturing 

Do you have an example of an Event that could be modelled as a Work?



Thanks much for your comments and suggestions.





Karen Coyle
[log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
m: +1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet/+1-510-984-3600