Something I’ve just learned about: FRBR (Functional Requirements for
Bibliographic Records).

It sounds scary, but FRBR is really just a way of recognizing that, say, my library’s copy of the full vocal and orchestral score for Handel’s Messiah is related to your library’s two copies (tape and CD) of the Decca recording of Christopher Hogwood conducting Handel’s Messiah.

From what I’ve read in one excellent description of FRBR, it doesn’t seem to be intended to describe the relationship between Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness and the film adaptation Apocalypse Now, which is set in another time and place. Perhaps that’s best left apart from what FRBR does — it might be a mistake to wish for FRBR to describe both of these concepts.


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One response to “FRBR

  1. cbustapeck

    I’ve heard a fair amount about FRBR in class, also, and thought that I pretty much understood the most basic parts of it, until you brought that up.

    That brings me to Shakespeare. So much of the total cultureal output is based on Shakespeare, and a lot of it makes more sense or at least seems more informed when one realizes the material that it is based upon. However, how far does this go? Should Akira Kurosawa’s film Ran, described on the box as a "brilliantly concieved retelling of King Lear", be associated with the play?

    I certainly wouldn’t want to see Ran without knowing that it was based on King Lear. It is definitely better art than the "translations" of Shakespeare into "contemporary English", but that is really beside the point. It seems that it should be associated, like Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, in some way, perhaps as a sort of "see also", but I don’t think that is what FRBR is for – FRBR is so that you aren’t browsing through a couple hundred entries in your OPAC for King Lear to see which of the three editions that are owned by your location are on the shelf.

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