Agent and event: Further examples


From the TC 372 Workshop Compendium

The Agent entity

The Agent entity was deliberately left underspecified in EN 15907. This decision was made in order to facilitate interoperability among filmographic information systems with different data models.


Many bibliographic (and filmographic) database systems have used (and some are still using) a so-called flat file model. This is a model without many-to-many relationships (e.g. a person related to multiple works and a work related to multiple persons).

Data from flat-file systems typically has text fields filled with personal or corporate names, where the field name (or MARC tag number) represents the relationship with the work.

Data from such systems can be translated straightforwardly into an EN 15907 data structure by using the Agent Name and Activity elements of an Agent Relationship


The second method of handling an Agent Reference is to include descriptive data about the agent, encoded in a suitable format.

Evidently, this requires a relational data model in which data about agents (e.g. persons) is separated from film-related information, and joined via a many-to-many relationship.

Using this method, Agent descriptions can be transferred alongside with filmographic data. The drawback of this solution is that the person record may have to be transferred multiple times.



The third method of handling an Agent Reference is to include a reference to a network resource with information describing the agent.

In this example, the reference points to a VIAF (virtual authority file) record obtained from the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico (ICCU).

EN 15907 permits any combination of agent references. Thus, if a database has references to external authority files for the more famous people and only names for the less famous, then both types can be used in a single data exchange.

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The Event entity

The Event entity in EN 15907 is in fact a class of six event types that can occur in the lifecycle of a cinematographic work.


This is a record about a decision event from the French commission de classification. In addition to the decision event, it contains data about a publication event.

The manifestation described in this record clearly differs from the first one added to our description of the work. Here is a view of our record transformed from the XML representation.


Frame from: I Vitelloni (1953)

Here we have some hints for a production event, which may actually be treated as two or more production events.

Assuming that we have a vocabulary for production event types, we may choose to define a single event for the four filming locations and use outdoor shooting as the type name.


This is a possible way of encoding the outdoor filming locations found on the previous slide. We combine them in a single event as long as no precise dates of individual shootings are known.

A transformed representation in the context of our description of I Vitelloni is here.


Eventually, someone may discover the precise filming location for certain shots on the beach of Ostia.

In this case we could single out the Ostia production event, supplement it with geographical coordinates, and thus enable a map-based view of filming locations.

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