I'm reminded of my freshman English class in college, when we were studying S.I. Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action.  Even when using a word to denote one specific entity, the dynamic process-entity referenced one time is not the same entity that is referenced another time.  For example, the Kevin Randall writing this message today is not the same Kevin Randall that read Regina Reynolds' message earlier; innumerable changes have occurred in the state of my being in between those two events.  But we accept certain levels of abstraction that will collapse various states of a dynamic entity into one or more specific identities for the purpose of communicating in any given context.

But of course it does become trickier when we get to changes in things that we generally think of as static, like statues.  Or my favorite architectural work, Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York.  Originally completed in 1838 and known as Knoll, it was doubled in size in 1865 and renamed Lyndenhurst, and renamed yet again (to its current name of Lyndhurst) in 1880.  Knoll is no longer extant, having been replaced by Lyndhurst-although much of Knoll is contained within the elements that make up Lyndhurst.

I think we have to be flexible in the application of the WEMI model, and define the specific instances of each W, E, M, and I in the context for which the descriptions are being made, and whatever makes the descriptions best fit together and interact in the most friendly way with other descriptions.

Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Northwestern University Libraries
Northwestern University<>
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Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Reynolds, Regina
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 2:01 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] [RDA-L] FRBR-LRM: Representative expression

Interesting discussion about the Roman polychromed statue because it seems to exhibit change over time, something the WEMI model does not handle well... at all?  The original statue is still the original statue, it simply has undergone some changes.  Do changes (deliberate or accidental) over time in the original result in a new expression?  We still have only one object.  I realize we are entering into the realm of philosophy here but it seems hard to avoid in these theoretical discussions. I'm reminded of a famous conundrum about the Ship of Theseus that seems to apply to serials that can change every element over time:

The ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus' paradox, is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The paradox is most notably recorded by Plutarch in Life of Theseus from the late first century. Plutarch asked whether a ship that had been restored by replacing every single wooden part remained the same ship.  Excerpted from Wikipedia

It would be helpful to establish answers, even if relatively arbitrary ones, to some of these speculations.


Regina Romano Reynolds
Director, U.S. ISSN Center
Head, ISSN Section
Library of Congress
Washington, DC
(202) 707-6379 (voice)
(202) 707-6333 (fax)
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