ALA Midwinter 2003 report from Liz O'Keefe

FRBR was in the air at ALA. Sherman can tell you about FRBR at CC:DA; it was also coming up a lot at MARBI. One of the major MARBI discussion papers, DP 2003-03, which discussed defining a 024 field for the authority record, evinced a FRBRíesque interest in being able to track works/expressions/manifestations. Actually, the standard numbers they want to put in the 024 field could be used for all sorts of different entities, ranging from organizations to texts to recordings. But the main discussion was about tracking texts, since this would greatly facilitate managing digital resources. But by defining this at the authority level, they seemed to be implying that for every Internation Standard Text Code (ISTC), there will be (or could be) an authority record, which is a pretty major departure from existing practice. Unless cross references are needed, or unless the heading is needed as an added entry, we donít create a new authority record every time we catalog a new book. The OCLC folk said that catalogers wouldnít have to create authority records in their own authority files, the authority records would be created semi-automatically, based on data in the bib record, in the databases devoted to tracking standard work numbers. I didnít quite follow that; Sherman will have a better grip on this, Iím sure.

At any rate, if uniform titles are going to be needed for metadata for digital representations, then the issue of uniform titles for art objects may become more and more important. AND we might have to give more guidance about how to make the titles for works of art distinctive. The people discussing the paper at MARBI seemed pretty blithe about conflict resolution for headings for texts (hey, how many Introductions to American history can be written by a Smith, John?). Art objects are a different story (although authors donít tend to reuse titles, Still life, Nude, Untitled, can recur many times within the oeuvre of a single artist).

DP 2003-02, on recoding the values for projected and non-projected graphics, met with enough encouragement that it will be brought back as a proposal. The paper suggested that a division of the graphic world into still and moving images made a lot more sense nowadays than the current dichotomy between projected/non-projected. Naturally, attendees asked what would be done about legacy data. The answer was that in order to interpret older records correctly, the system will have to look in several other places on the record. We will see how that goes. But I was glad to hear someone say that the AACR2 revision will involve rethinking GMD. I find that good news for cataloging art objects, because at PML, GMDís are the only field we have been able to use (or misuse) to inform users upfront what sort of material they are looking at: a drawing? a sculpture? a tapestry? The fixed field codes just arenít precise enough; and the brief displays donít include the 300$a, which would tell you what the item IS, when itís non-book material (as opposed to how many pages it is, when itís a book). It MIGHT lead to more freedom to spell out the nature of an item in the GMD (we have discussed in the context of exhibition publications--indicating that it is a catalog or a checklist or whatnot). But they may be tougher about authorizing its use for books than for non-books.

I heard at the CC:DA meeting that the conceptual model that deals with art information, CIDOC, is under consideration by NISO. We may have some fish to fry in that area. [sc: CIDOC has just announced a workshop on the Conceptual Reference Model; cf http://cidoc.ics.forth.gr/symposium_program.htm and from there you can get to more info on the CRM]

That's all for now. I am working at reworking the Titles section of the Guidelines. It's not soon to start drawing up an agenda for our meeting in Baltimore. Tentative agenda items, just off the top of my head: :progress reports (hopefully, LC will have decided about buildings by then); the guidelines (of course!); guidelines for setting up named collections as corporate bodies (Claudia and I talked about this last year, and Judy raised it in her comments on the guidelines). Other ideas?

eokeefe@morganlibrary.org


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