The idea of FRBR ...

Lorcan 1 min read

Not having a copy of The Idea of a university to hand, I was looking in Google Book Search and Amazon earlier. Newman is in the news (here is the Wall Street Journal), and I was curious to have a quick look. Sad to say, I even did a search for library to see what he had to say on that topic.
Here is what I saw in Amazon when I did the search …
I was interested to see that they think the difference between editions is important enough to highlight. See the ‘Just so you know’ banner at the top of the page. It tells me that the text I am about to search is an instance of a different edition than the one I was originally looking at and clicked on.
Managing this type of similarity (bringing together different versions of The Idea of a university) and difference (discriminating between those different versions) is something that is becoming of more interest in our systems and services. And of course it is these types of relationship that underly a central part of the FRBR model.
I have become more aware that FRBR is sometimes presented as if it is some great mystery whereas what it is about is defining some useful relationships between the things that are of interest to us, so that we can usefully manage and present them.
Incidentally, it is interesting to see how Universities and Higher Education figure strongly in the FAST cloud on Newman’s Worldcat Identities page ….

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