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Folklore Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Oral Traditions and FRBR

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20 Pages
English

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Niveau: Supérieur, Doctorat, Bac+8
Folklore Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Oral Traditions and FRBR Yann Nicolas SUMMARY. The treatment of bibliographic information in library catalogues is biased by the primacy of printed written resources. This legitimate bias hinders oral tradition resources from being accurately described and accessed. This kind of resources is important in any society, but central in indigenous societies, at least for the comprehension of the printed written resources of these societies. The FRBR Model allows a better treatment of oral tradition works, versions and items. It can express the essential fact that oral traditions works are independent even when their manifestations are not, collective and not anonymous, plural but not impossible to grasp. One deep doubt remains concerning the compatibility of the FRBR notion of expression and the notion of version. KEYWORDS. Oral tradition, bibliographic description, indigenous peoples, notion of work, variants [Author information:] Yann Nicolas works as metadata librarian at Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Supérieur (ABES), France (227, av du Professeur Jean Louis Viala. BP 84308 34193 MONTPELLIER CEDEX 5). The author would like to thank the bicultural community of Aotearoa (New Zealand) librarians, and particularly those from the National Library, and particularly those from the Alexander Turnbull Library for their help and their attention during his three months internship (2002). Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 39.3/4 (2005): 179-195 (special issue FRBR: Hype or Cure-All, edited by Patrick Le Bœuf ) 1

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  • bias hinders oral

  • various versions

  • frbr

  • mäori resources benefit

  • oral tradition


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Folklore Requirements for Bibliographic Records:Oral Traditions and FRBRYann Nicolasnicolas@abes.fr SUMMARY. The treatment of bibliographic information in library catalogues is biased by theprimacy of printed written resources. This legitimate bias hinders oral tradition resources from beingaccurately described and accessed. This kind of resources is important in any society, but central inindigenous societies, at least for the comprehension of the printed written resources of these societies.The FRBR Model allows a better treatment of oral tradition works, versions and items. It can expressthe essential fact that oral traditions works are independent even when their manifestations are not,collective and not anonymous, plural but not impossible to grasp. One deep doubt remains concerningthe compatibility of the FRBR notion of expression and the notion of version.KEYWORDS. Oral tradition, bibliographic description, indigenous peoples, notion of work,variants[Author information:] Yann Nicolas works as metadata librarian at Agence Bibliographique del’Enseignement Supérieur (ABES), France (227, av du Professeur Jean Louis Viala. BP 84308 34193 MONTPELLIER CEDEX 5).The author would like to thank the bicultural community of Aotearoa (New Zealand) librarians,and particularly those from the National Library, and particularly those from the Alexander TurnbullLibrary for their help and their attention during his three months internship (2002).(Csapteaclioalg iinsgs u&e  "CFlRasBsiRfi: cHatyiopen  oQr uCarutreer-lAy,l l3",9 .e3d/i4t e(d2 0b0y 5P):a t1ri7c9k- 1L9e5 Bœuf )1
IntroductionThe way indigenous people and resources are treated in libraries is getting better – in somelibraries, in some countries. In most of public libraries and in the National Library of New Zealand,for example, many specific services are offered to the Mäori persons: you can be informed in theMäori language, specific information on Mäori collections are available, the spiritual value of somedocuments is acknowledged, traditional rituals can take place, partnerships between the libraries andthe Mäori groups are established… As far as collections are concerned, Mäori resources benefit froma kind of affirmative action, indigenous heritage is digitized, attention and funds are devoted toindigenous resources and not only to resources about the Mäori… (further details in (Nicolas 2003)).However there is one aspect of libraries that is much less efficient and innovating from the indigenouspoint of view: the catalogs. Admittedly, the highly needed Mäori Subject Headings are in preparation.Alas, you would hardly find another example. Today, if you search several versions of the Mäoricreation myth, you will retrieve some noise (Christian proselytizing and tales for western children)and much silence. Even in New Zealand, catalogs are very ignorant of indigenous resources,particularly of oral tradition resources, essential to indigenous culture. And yet, these indigenousresources exist actually in libraries. But our cataloging rules and tools have not been designed in away able to give them any bibliographic existence. So, how to reform our bibliographic habits andprinciples so that indigenous resources and hence indigenous patrons are better treated? Preliminaryquestion: must we reform them? Some would argue that libraries have not been invented for oraltraditions and suggest that it is up to indigenous actors to adopt editorial practices adapted to thelibraries and their catalogs. Paradoxically, the opponents of these reforms join the indigenousadvocates of radical separation who propose to build new libraries ex nihilo according to needs,concepts and objectives proper to indigenous traditions. This option is sound and may yieldinnovations. However, a lot of indigenous resources are held by western libraries and, if we opposesystematic repatriation, we cannot avoid to give them a better place and treatment in our stacks andour catalogs, along with other documents.The basic hypothesis of this paper is that the FRBR model is a good instrument to enhance thebibliographic condition of oral tradition resources. I know that the principal objective of the FRBR(Csapteaclioagl iinsgs u&e  "CFlRasBsiRf:i cHatyipoen  oQr uCaurtreer-lAyl, l"3,9 .e3d/i4t e(d2 0b0y 5P):a t1ri7c9k- 1L9e5 Bœuf )2