My understanding of FRBR is that regardless of independent existence prior to its 
appearance, each poem, short story, song, etc., is considered a work in and of itself 
regardless of whether their creator considered them such. Since a "compilation" 
is simply defined as a gathering of multiple works, every aggregation of such items is a 
compilation, again, regardless of whether the creator considered them collectively a 
single work. I would be happy to be corrected if this isn't an accurate understanding of 

FRBR says amazingly little about aggregates. There is no real definition of a "compilation" either (by the way: there is also no definition of this term in RDA).

Here's a quote from FRBR chapter 3.3, where we can find the basic statement on aggregates:

"The structure of the model, however, permits us to represent aggregate and component entities in the same way as we would represent entities that are viewed as integral units. That is to say that from a logical perspective the entity work, for example, may represent an aggregate of individual works brought together by an editor or compiler in the form of an anthology, a set of individual monographs brought together by a publisher to form a series, or a collection of private papers organized by an archive as a single fond. By the same token, the entity work may represent an intellectually or artistically discrete component of a larger work, such as a chapter of a report, a segment of a map, an article in a journal, etc. For the purposes of the model, entities at the aggregate or component level operate in the same way as entities at the integral unit level; they are defined in the same terms, they share the same characteristics, and they are related to one another in the same way as entities at the integral unit level."

The basic message here is that works can be seen on different levels, and we find the same idea in RDA.

True, there is no distinction between different kinds of aggregate works in FRBR, but I don't think this means that we're forced to treat all kinds of aggregate works in an identical way in cataloging. Note that collective titles aren't mentioned anywhere in FRBR. There is "title of the work" as an attribute of the work, and therefore, there is a corresponding element in RDA. But FRBR doesn't prescribe how this element should be filled. It's up to the cataloging code to set up the relevant instructions. So I can't see why it shouldn't be possible to have one rule for something which was meant to be published as a unit by the creator and a compilation which was only assembled only at a later stage.

By the way: The FRBR Working Group on Aggregates doesn't accept the notion of an *aggregate* work at all, see the final report:
Instead, they talk about an *aggregating* work which stands for the creative effort of having put the things together. So, a book containing three novels is not a manifestation of an aggregate work which in itself is made up of three individual works. Instead what we have here (in the view of the Working Group) is an aggregate manifestation, in which *four* works are manifested: the three novels and the "aggregating work" (i.e. the effort of the compiler).

They still haven't managed to convince me of that.


Prof. Heidrun Wiesenmueller M.A.
Stuttgart Media University
Wolframstr. 32, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany

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