Work - Prose - Abridgements, New or Existing?

This audiobook release for Oliver Twist is an abridgement (abridged version) of the original text, and we have been given a credit to who completed the task.

Normally we would have unique works for each arrangement; and an abridgement is a sort of arangement of prose; so would it be a new work for this variant?


Toss a coin. Either seems like it would be correct. I assume the abridged version did not add any words, so is a “partial” version of the original work. Linking to the original would be technically correct.

A musical arrangement would usually “re-arrange” things so I can see why that needs to be a separate Work. I assume the Abridger has not shuffled the chapters here.

But personally I see no harm in having a separate Work for an Abridged version of a Work. It makes a clearer way of showing it is the shorter version. And crediting that “arranger”.

One problem I see is when the Abridger is not named in the booklet, like in most cases. This would potentially lead to a “don’t know if it is the same abridgement” and creation of multiple abridged works. Unless we say “stick all unknown abridged versions together” and split those with named Abridger’s like in this case. Or clump them based on length.

TL;DR: As an audiobook editor I like your idea.


For classical music in MusicBrainz, it’s quite common to create a “catch-all arrangement” work to link to when the arranger is unknown. Your suggestion for audiobooks fits neatly with that practice.