Free Data Services
- New dataset - Forthcoming Books - added to Linked Open BNB
Users can choose from the following options:
- Linked Open BNB
- Basic RDF/XML
- Researcher Format (CSV)
- MARC21 via Z39.50
- BNB New Titles - Weekly Files (PDF and basic RDF/XML)
Additionally, information and sample data for work still in progress is available from our sample data page.
The Linked Open BNB includes published and forthcoming books as well as serial publications.
Data Model, Schema and URI patterns
The data model for books is available here. [PDF format 131 KB]
[version 1.5, March 2017]
The data model for serials is available here. [PDF format 136 KB]
[version 1.1, March 2017]
The data model for forthcoming books is available here. [PDF format 131 KB]
[version 1.0, March 2017]
The latest version of the schema has been published here.
The namespace declaration for this schema is xmlns:blt="http://www.bl.uk/schemas/bibliographic/blterms#"
All British Library URIs start with HTTP and are within the domain bnb.data.bl.uk. The full list of patterns used is available here. [PDF format 19 KB]
Access to the Linked Open BNB
The subset of the British National Bibliography, covering books and serials published or distributed in the UK since 1950, is available at:
Samples and bulk downloads in RDF/XML and N-Triples are available.
These files are distributed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication licence. For further details about our terms and conditions, please see here.
Data is described using properties from the following vocabularies:
Bio: A Vocabulary for Biographical Information
British Library Terms
FOAF: Friend of a Friend
Org: An Organization Ontology
WGS84 Geo Positioning
We welcome feedback on the Linked Open BNB service. Please let us know what you think by contacting us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further background on the approach taken to create the Linked Open BNB, please refer to:
- Making The Connection - Linked Open Data at the British Library - 2012
- Publishing the British National Bibliography as Linked Open Data - 2014
As part of its work to open its metadata to wider use beyond the traditional library community, the British Library is making copies of some of its datasets available for research purposes. Files are initially being made available in a basic RDF/XML representation and are distributed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication licence. For further details about our terms and conditions, please see here.
Please note: these versions of the datasets are structured using a more basic form of RDF/XML (e.g. they do not contain URIs) and are not primarily intended for use in a linked data environment.
- British Library Integrated Catalogue - Books
This dataset includes books in our collection that are not eligible for BNB. The basic RDF/XML representation is the same as that of the basic RDF/XML for the BNB. The full dataset is available for download. We intend to upload a refresh monthly.
- British Library Printed Music
This dataset includes records for printed music held at the British Library. It was provided as part of the AHRC-funded "Big Data History of Music" project. The basic RDF/XML representation is documented in this mapping table. The full dataset is available for download.
The British Library is able to make themed datasets available in comma-separated value (csv) format, for researchers who wish to analyse the data using utilities or applications such as Open Refine.
Researcher Format datasets consist of up to 5 files, each providing a different view of the data; the views focus on bibliographic records, titles, names, topical terms or Dewey classification. A ‘readme’ file accompanying each dataset provides details of file contents.
These files are produced in response to requests from researchers and projects or to accompany British Library exhibitions.
Datasets are available from our downloads page. These currently include:
- Alice's Day 2016,
- Black History Month,
- British Library Printed Music,
- Comics Unmasked,
- Great Fire of London,
- H.G. Wells,
- Magna Carta,
- Roald Dahl,
- Shakespeare and
These files are distributed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license. For further details about our terms and conditions, please see here.
Access to either the British Library's full catalogue of its collections or the British National Bibliography in MARC 21. Users are required to register for the service and agree that any usage will be strictly for non-commercial purposes, such as:
- Resource discovery
- Learning, teaching, academic and scientific research or private study
- Cataloguing or acquisition
- Provision of information solely about the registered library’s holdings for inclusion in a union catalogue or library inter-lending database
- Verification of bibliographic information and/or identification of materials for order via interlibrary loan, from document vendors or from other sources from which materials identified may be purchased or otherwise acquired
Please see the full terms and conditions - if you can agree to these, please contact email@example.com to confirm that you accept them. We will then register you and send out connection details along with a username and password.
In order to access our Z39.50 databases you will need to use a Z39.50 client - these are incorporated in commercial Library Management Systems, or you can choose to install a standalone client such as:
Configuration server settings are also available to assist in setting up connections.
If you just need to access our catalogues online, please go direct to a comprehensive list of available catalogues.
Follow the latest developments about our data services on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BLMetadata or follow BLMetadata.
For further information please contact:
The British Library
Boston Spa, Wetherby