RIMMFing My Comics


After ALA and a vigorous RIMMFing session, I’ve become more interested than ever in having a pure RDA editor. It is frustrating to read RDA, study RDA, try to fully grok RDA and then bend and twist all the data into MARC blocks.

RIMMF allows me to practice de-coupling my catalog-brain from MARC and really hone in on the actual RDA elements that we’re supposed to be recording into bibliographic and authority records.

To this end, I wanted to take on a RIMMFing project, and I chose my comic-book collection. My mom (and her brother) were avid comic book fans in their youths and for some reason (and I certainly thank them!) they saved them. As I grew up and came into my own youth, it became my comic-book collection and I devoured them. I spent endless summer Saturdays (no electricity on Shabbat, remember) lying on the floor, lost in the adventures of Superman, Batman, the Fantastic Four and my favorite: Spider-Man.

Blah blah blah, flash-forward 25 years, and I still have those darn comics! I don’t read them as often as I used to, but attempting to RIMMF them serves two aims:

  1. It’ll be fun to revisit these old friends
  2. Comics are weird, bibliographically speaking.

They’re essentially serials, and most libraries which hold comics (with a few exceptions) catalog them as such. No individual issue is analyzed, just a record for the series, then a barcode and additional entry in the holdings for each issue.

But that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m going deeper. (And when the RSC finally finishes their work on aggregate works in RDA — I think you’ll find that it’s what is most ideal for the model)

I’m creating a Work record for each story contained in each issue, a Work record for each issue, and a Work record for the series. All of these are accompanied by Expression records and Manifestation records of course and then a single Item record (for the issue in hand)

I’ve done only two issues so far, but I’ve already started bumping up against challenging areas of interpretation where RDA hits the reality. Over the next few posts, I’ll explain some of the problems I’ve run into and how I’ve resolved them. Some are philosophical-model level problems, some are practical.

I will do my utmost best to never mention MARC, we’re talking RDA and FRBR only.

Stay tuned!


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