I'm all in favor of labelling fictional authors as such when known. I think it's common sense that people would want to be reminded (when it's known) that an entity does not have a real-world counterpart.
But I have to agree that as it is currently presented in the FRBR-LRM, the class, "Person" seems too restrictive to be of use in a library context. As it currently stands, any author who does not fit into the box of "An individual human being ... who live or are assumed to
have lived" would presumably be relegated to the superclass of "agent" or assigned to some as-yet undefined (disjoint?) class. I don't see what value this adds, when it is manifestly evident that authorship can be attributed to all sorts of non-individual non-human authors whose status as a living historical person is uncertain.
Wouldn't it make more sense to make the scope of "person" less restrictive and add an attribute "authenticity" (or what have you) that supports values such as "real", "fictional", "uncertain", etc?
Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Stephen Hearn
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 1:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] FRBR-LRM: The bibliographic universe and non-human and fictitious agents
The use case for labeling fictitious entities would be to enable users to exclude them from searches for real entities. Someone searching for male authors living in London in the late 1800s might not want to find Dr. Watson in their results. Someone searching for women in Rome might not want to include the goddess Diana.The option of labeling Watson and Diana as fictitious entities (or with some such term and/or code) would resolve that. We have the option now to a degree, but the terminology used to indicate fictitiousness/irreality varies.
Whenever I play "Who am I?" one of the first questions asked is, "Are you real?" It's a primary sort for most people. Occasionally that question is hard to answer in the game, but mostly it's easy. Without questioning the value of more fine grained philosophical analysis, I think we should generally categorize entities with games like "Who am I?" and "Twenty questions" as our model of inquiry.
On Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 8:38 AM, Steven Folsom <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We need to be careful about what we call fictitious. Without getting too heady, who gets to say what is fictional? Every weekend I go for a walk in the woods with my daughters up Fairy Hike Mountain. I’m pretty sure that experience is real, but you won’t find any mention of it except for hand-drawn map in my dining room. Are places referred to in religious texts real? I don’t want our metadata taking those positions. What’s the use case? Are we really worried that someone will try to get a ticket to Narnia?
I think the safest/easiest thing we can do is to allow things to be things if we want to describe them similarly. A person can be a person and still be the alternate identity for another person. If we don’t know the person is really a pen name, then obviously we don’t say it. If we know they are a pen name, but we don’t have a lot of details on the person/s who write as that that person, we only say what we know. Using existing ontologies:
<Work1> dcterms:creator <Person1> .
<Person1> a foaf:Person ;
rdau:P60037 <Person2> .
Note, that if a we said Person2 (the “real” person) created Work1 we wouldn’t be able to satisfy searches for things written by Benjamin Franklin as Alice Addertongue. We would only know generally that Benjamin Franklin also wrote as Alice Addertongue. Also, if Person1 (the alternate identity) was only a Nomen, we couldn’t use the dcterms:creator property because it has a range of dcterms:Agent. Aligning data would become more complicated than it need be.
Re: Wrongful attributions, Something erroneously attributed to someone is different, and I would suggest we not have one way to say something is either wrongfully attributed, attributed to a fictional person, or both. We could extend the PROV qualifiedAttribution pattern (perhaps with a subclass) to say something was wrongfully attributed.
<Work1> dcterms:creator <Person1> ;
prov:qualifiedAttribution <Attribution1> .
<Person1> a foaf:Person ;
rdau:P60037 <Person2> .
<Attribution1> a ex:WrongAttribution ;
prov:agent <Person3> .
The list of use cases isn't really about fictitious entities--it's about fictitious creator/contributor relationships, relationships which are asserted in bibliographic objects for various reasons but known to be false in real-world terms. Some of them involve fictitious entities, but not all.
A list of use cases for fictitious entities should certainly include subject use. Presumably in FRBR-LRM, "subject" is not defined as an entity class because it is co-extensive with res ("LRM-R12, Work / has as subject / res").
A separate question would be whether fictitiousness should be an attribute of res to identify fictitious entities. I'd argue that it should be. It can arguably be combined with any of the categories defined for res and its subentities, so defining it at the level of res makes sense.
On Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 12:02 PM, Adam L. Schiff <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
These suggestions are all great, but one of the biggest categories still not considered is a work about a fictitious character. The most common example could
be a work about a legendary character or about a god/goddess from mythology. If the model includes fictitious entities, shouldn't it take into account these kinds of entities too?
University of Washington Libraries
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Kathie Coblentz <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: FRBR-LRM: The bibliographic universe and non-human and fictitious agents
On Fri, 25 Mar 2016 00:39:22 +0000, Wilson, Pete <[log in to unmask]>
>My working formulation is that one has an "attributed
>creator/contributor" relationship and the other has the
>current "real" creator/contributor relationship. The range
>of attributed creator/ contributor relationships would not be
>limited to "real" entities, though it would include them.
>Some such formulation for expressing evident but not-real
>relationships would be useful in a variety of cases:
> * A work attributed to a fictional entity
> * A work falsely attributed in the past and on some
>manifestations to a real entity
> * A work attributed to a real person but known to be
>ghostwritten by another person
> * A work attributed to a house pseudonym shared by
>many unrelated authors, but also known to be by a
Good list, and I like David Proch?zka's suggestion to use "attributed name" in
I would emend the second list item to read:
* A work falsely or erroneously attributed to a real entity
That would include cases where the real author has been identified as someone
other than the entity to whom the work has been attributed either on some
manifestations or in reference sources. Doesn't matter whether the work was
originally issued with this attribution, or anonymously.
And how about adding another item to the list?
* A work attributed to a real non-human entity but known to be the
intellectual product of a human entity
This would include cases like the one discussed earlier on this (or another?)
forum of "Bo Obama," the presidential dog, who is a real dog but manifestly not
the entity responsible for "Bo confidential" (2009), the work for which his NAR
record was created. (Since the "as told to" entity in this case was "the editors
of MAD Magazine," it's a pretty good bet that the work was a satire, and not a
serious attempt to recreate the reality of Bo's daily life from the canine point
It would also cover the case of Tuxedo Hess (lccn no2015080606), who I am sure
is a fine animal, an excellent grazer, and a very good galloper, but if truth be
told, not much of a storyteller, and not terribly eloquent in the English
1000 Tuxedo Hess ǂc (Horse)
372 Grazing ǂa Galloping ǂa Storytelling ǂ2 lcsh
670 Tuxedo Hess (Horse). Tuxedo's tails [crossed out] tales, 2015: ǂb title
page (written by Tuxedo Hess) page 4 of cover (a real rescue horse)
Kathie Coblentz, Rare Materials Cataloger
Special Collections/Special Formats Processing
The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
5th Avenue and 42nd Street, Room 313
New York, NY 10018
[log in to unmask]
My opinions, not NYPL's
Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
Data Management & Access, University Libraries
University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455