Further FRBR applications

University of Chicago law professor Randy Picker recounts some experiences with Google Book Search. He talks about looking for The Wealth of Nations.

Of course, the publication of Smith’s work was the second great event of 1776 (or was it the first?), so it would be surprising if the work remained subject to copyright. And indeed, if you flip over to the second page of the search results, we find an 1869 edition of The Wealth of Nations listed as in the public domain and we have full, unfettered access to that book. For now, GBS users will have to anticipate this possibility, but Google might think about linking over from restricted works to unrestricted versions of the work. [The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog: Working with Google Book Search (and Making it Better)]

Another case where relating manifestations of a work would be useful. Examples where FRBR would be useful crop up everywhere!
And here is a find in a library page for the 1869 edition in question.
One of the issues that colleagues at OCLC and RLG are working on is making sure that in due course the digitized versions emerging from the Google and OCA digitization initiatives are recorded in our existing bibliographic apparatus.
Link via Peter Brantley.

2 thoughts on “Further FRBR applications”

  1. Google, not FRBR

    One problem of Google-izing out-of-copyright material is that it makes life harder for scholarly publishers who are trying to add value to the material.

    The Times published an interesting article on this by William Rees-Mogg, where he said:
    “We publish works of scholarship that larger publishers, with higher overheads, find uneconomic. … The added value of these editions is that they are fully edited and appropriately indexed and often include original material. … This sturdy, early 19th-century business model is now threatened by a giant 21st-century business model, the omnivorous Google.”
    William Rees-Mogg
    Help, we’ve been Googled!
    The Times November 28, 2005

  2. I was making the smaller point that it would benefit the user of GBS if the various manifestations were rolled up into works so that they could be presented with all available manifestations. In this case, a readable version would have been available without further looking.
    The impact of this activity on broader publishing patterns is something I don’t have a great deal to say about.
    Of course, Google and Yahoo are very aware of the ‘FRBR’ issue although that may not be the way in which they chose to describe it.
    I had seen the Rees-Mogg article which was mentioned in a comment on an earlier post.

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