Click here to skip to content

Collection Metadata

The British Library provides a range of services for people requiring bibliographic information. These services include the national bibliography of the UK and publication of the catalogues of the British Library. All products and services are designed to be compliant with international bibliographic standards.

We offer a variety of free data supply services for non-commercial use.

We have developed a Collection Metadata Strategy, which unites strategic discussion of the Library's collection metadata activities and identifies the necessary foundational principles, priorities and governance structures by which management of our metadata assets can be improved to deliver wider business benefits and support the delivery of our core purposes and programmes.

A core objective will be the transformation of our collection metadata from a passive by-product to an active enabler offering greater efficiency, interoperability and utility.

Foundations for the Future: The British Library's Collection Metadata Strategy 2019-2023 is the Library's second Collection Metadata Strategy. It is supplemented by the Collection Metadata Strategy Roadmap 2019-2023.

Its predecessor, Unlocking the Value - The British Library's Collection Metadata Strategy, 2015-2018 was supplemented by the Collection Metadata Strategy Roadmap, 2015-2018.

The new strategy will build on the achievements of the first and seek to implement a unified systems and standards infrastructure for collection metadata.

Researchers seeking help in identifying bibliographic resources of interest to them may wish to:

Collection Metadata supply British Library statistics, with figures for:

  • records in our catalogues and databases
  • items received on Legal Deposit
  • collection holdings

See the Annual Statistics page for more information.

Follow the latest developments about our data services on Twitter at or follow BLMetadata.

For further information please contact:

The British Library
Collection Metadata
Boston Spa, Wetherby
West Yorkshire
LS23 7BQ
United Kingdom