Click here to skip to content

Downloading MARC 21 records via z39.50

Access to the British Library's Integrated Catalogue was withdrawn on 23 January 2012. It was replaced by Explore the British Library but as from that date it was no longer possible to download records from the Web interface of the online catalogue.

Our free z39.50 service offers access to MARC21 records from either the British Library's full catalogue or the British National Bibliography. 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 metadata@bl.uk to confirm that you accept them. We will then register you and send a username and password together with details of how to connect to the service.

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.


For further information please contact:

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

Email: metadata@bl.uk