About the model: Question 4

4. Related to 3, is there any value in defining a “superwork” class?  A superwork is really just a work from which a large number of related works have spun off (for example, dramatizations, films, etc.).

DECISION: Superwork was not defined as a formal class in the model.


2 Responses to “About the model: Question 4”

  1. Sherman Clarke Says:

    Another area where “superwork” might apply is studies for a work. This is especially relevant in cultural objects, particularly fine arts. Though there are after-works too. Examples:

    * Rubens tapestry cartoons, after Raphael – original Raphael paintings, Rubens cartoons after Raphael, tapestry realizations

    * paintings and studies (Klimt show currently at Neue Galerie includes a number of drawing studies for paintings)

    * Piranesi drawings for San Giovanni in Laterano

    In VIA, the Harvard image database, they developed a group level for photo albums and other collective works. At the moment, I can only find work records as I try to find you an example of group level. It was photo albums that led them to the decision to have collective works. Something like building complexes could be candidates for collective records but I didn’t find an example in searching Versailles or San Pietro in Vaticano. cf http://via.lib.harvard.edu/via/deliver/home?_collection=via


  2. Martha M. Yee Says:

    I foolishly switched to email to query further about this; Sherman has graciously allowed me to copy our email exchange here:

    On Dec 13, 2007 5:33 PM, Martha M. Yee wrote:

    Very interesting. I’ve been thinking for years that there must be a better way to collocate the various drafts of a script, the costume designs, the various drafts of music scores, etc. that are created in the course of planning and then shooting a film. This would probably apply to various drafts of manuscripts of a written or musical work, as well.

    Is it possible, though, that the superwork level is not needed so much as a particular kind of relationship? Perhaps, following your language below, a pre-work relationship and an post-work relationship? And perhaps when there is this special kind of relationship, the work naming for a pre- or post- work should consist of naming the work itself and then adding something to identify the pre-work or post-work? In the past, I have conceptualized the film bits as having a part-whole relationship to the final work such that the name of the whole (the final film) is necessary to name and identify the part (the script draft, for example)…

    I have resisted creating the superwork level because I’ve thought that that would create a situation in which a work must move to superwork status as soon as the first adaptation or other related work is created. If we can explicitly code the nature of various relationships between works, isn’t it enough to link work to work with an encoding of the relationship? What would we gain by adding a another level to the hierarchy? Can you help me think this through?

    Thanks very much for all your careful thought about these issues, Sherman…

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sherman Clarke [mailto:sherman.clarke@gmail.com]
    Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 9:03 AM
    To: Martha M. Yee
    Subject: Re: [Yee Cataloging Rules Weblog] Comment: “About the model: Question 4”

    In the chapter that Murtha and I wrote for Arlene’s book, we postulate (in Murtha’s words at that point) that a study is a related work rather than another part of the superwork. I think this is where the access means has to come into play (which is, of course, where our catalogs (book, card, online) have always been) and has to file similar things together. You are right that the first adaptation might lead from work to superwork.

    Have you ever seen any of Mark Lombardi’s works? He does drawings of the links between politicians and financiers, etc. Just so you have a picture: http://www.pierogi2000.com/flatfile/lombardiavailable07.html
    This is sort of how I imagine a complicated work might become, e.g., Midsummer night’s dream, St Peter’s, Hamlet.

    The relationship is the important part. I’m picturing now some of the faceted-browse catalogs where there are various aspects of the resource in question that one can click on: topic, genre, name, call number, more details, followon searches in Google, indexes, subject guides. I guess what that makes is a superwork on the fly.

    Rather disjoined thoughts at the moment but it’s something.

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