The FRBR conceptual model is intended to meet the end users’ needs. This data model proposes the creation of bibliographic concepts (“work”, “expression”, “manifestation” and “item”) and a new way to formalise relations between these bibliographic entities. 

The so called WEMI-Model (Work, Expression, Manifestation and Item model) tries to identify the core aspects of publications and is the foundation of the FRBR family. 

  • Work is defined as the intellectual or artistic content of a distinct creation. It refers to a very abstract idea of a creation e.g. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and not a specific expression. 
  • Expression is the intellectual or artistic realization of a work. The realization may take the form of text, sound, image, object, movement, etc., or any combination of such forms.
  • Manifestation is the embodiment of an expression of a work. For example a particular edition of a book or a specific music recording. 
  • Item is a single exemplar of a manifestation. Cataloguing is generally done, based on an item directly available to a cataloguer 

As the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) focuses on the end-user it defines the fundamental user tasks required for resource discovery:

  • “to find entities that correspond to the user’s stated search criteria (i.e., to locate either a single entity or a set of entities in a file or database as the result of a search using an attribute or relationship of the entity);
  • to identify an entity (i.e., to confirm that the entity described corresponds to the entity sought, or to distinguish between two or more entities with similar characteristics);
  • to select an entity that is appropriate to the user’s needs (i.e., to choose an entity that meets the user’s requirements with respect to content, physical format, etc., or to reject an entity as being inappropriate to the user’s needs);
  • to acquire or obtain access to the entity described (i.e., to acquire an entity through purchase, loan, etc., or to access an entity electronically through an online connection to a remote computer).”(IFLA: FRBR: 2009)

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