What is the FRBRoo?

The FRBRoo is a formal ontology intended to capture and represent the underlying semantics of bibliographic information and to facilitate the integration, mediation, and interchange of bibliographic and museum information.

The FRBR model was originally designed as an entity-relationship model by a study group appointed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) during the period 1991-1997, and was published in 1998. Quite independently, the CIDOC CRM model was being developed from 1996 under the auspices of the ICOM-CIDOC (International Council for Museums – International Committee on Documentation) Documentation Standards Working Group. 

In summer 2006, a first draft of FRBRoo was completed. It is a logiacally rigid model interpreting conceptualizations expressed in FRBRer and of concepts necessary to explain the intended meaning of all FRBRer attributes and relationships. The model is formulated as an extensions of the CIDOC CRM. Any conflicts occurring in the harmonization process with the CIDOC CRM have been or will be resolved on the CIDOC CRM side as well. The Harmonization Group intends to continue work modelling the FRAR concepts and elaborating the application of FRBR concepts to performing arts. 

What is the idea?

The idea that both the library and museum communities might benefit from harmonising the two models was first expressed in 2000 and grew up in the following years.  Eventually, it led to the formation, in 2003, of the International Working Group on FRBR/CIDOC CRM Harmonisation, that brings together representatives from both communities with the common goals of: a) Expressing the IFLA FRBR model with the concepts, tools, mechanisms, and notation conventions provided by the CIDOC CRM, and: b) Aligning (possibly even merging) the two object-oriented models with the aim to contribute to the solution of the problem of semantic interoperability between the documentation structures used for library and museum information, such that:

  • all equivalent information can be retrieved under the same notions and
  • all directly and indirectly related information can be retrieved regardless of its distribution over individual data sources;
  • knowledge encoded for a specific application can be repurposed for other studies;
  • recall and precision in systems employed by both communities is improved;
  • both communities can learn from each other's concepts for their mutual progress;


Text status: 
Work in progress