Free dataset downloads

Download a free selection of datasets and supporting documentation to use for your library or research. These datasets include the British National Bibliography in a range of formats.

Files are distributed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication licence. Please read our terms and conditions.

Linked open data

Bulk downloads, serialized as N-Triples, RDF/XML or Turtle (ttl) are available below for published and forthcoming books and serials eligible for BNB.

These ZIP files include multiple files and a PDF document and are updated monthly. You can find the models, schema and URI patterns on the BNB Linked Data Platform.

Sample data are available for all of the bulk downloads. We make samples to get feedback on datasets or schema in development.

British National Bibliography

Files last updated: December 2021.

Knowledge Organizations: experimental release

This is an experimental linked data release of the MARC organization codes and ISILs that the British Library assigns to organizations in the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Please note that the URIs used in the dataset are provisional and do not resolve; fuller documentation is available in this document (PDF 626 KB)

Files last updated: February 2020.

Open RDF/XML data

These versions of the datasets are structured using a basic form of RDF/XML. They do not contain URIs and are not primarily intended for use in a linked data environment. These ZIP folders include multiple files and a PDF document.

Researcher Format (CSV) datasets

Our themed datasets are available in comma-separated value (CSV) format for you to analyse the data using utilities or applications such as Open Refine. We produce these files in response to: requests from researchers, projects and British Library exhibitions.

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.

You can download the following CSV datasets of metadata for resources relating to people or topics. The resources are from the BNB and the British Library's collections. All of the ZIP files below include multiple CSV files, a readme.txt file and a PDF document.

History datasets

  • Black History Month CSV (ZIP 8,639 KB) Updated October 2021. Initially released to coincide with Black History Month 2016.
  • Cotton Manuscripts collection CSV (ZIP 1,739 KB) Updated December 2017. Metadata for the British Library's Cotton Manuscripts collection.
  • Great Fire of London CSV (ZIP 1,791 KB) Updated August 2021. Initially released in September 2016 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of the fire.
  • History of Magic CSV (ZIP 9,288 KB) Updated June 2021. Initially released in September 2016 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of the fire.
  • India Office Medical Archives CSV (ZIP 1,793 KB) Updated May 2019. Metadata created during the India Office Medical Archives Project, 2015-2016.
  • James Cook CSV (ZIP 1,904 KB) Updated April 2021. Initially released in April 2018 to accompany the British Library's exhibition James Cook: The Voyages, marking 250 years since Cook set sail from Plymouth aboard HMS Endeavour.
  • Karl and Eleanor Marx CSV (ZIP 10,880 KB) Updated May 2021. Initially released in May 2018 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth.
  • Leonarda Da Vinci CSV (ZIP 2,406 KB) Updated May 2021
  • Magna Carta CSV (ZIP 4,456 KB) Updated June 2021. Initially released in 2015 to accompany the British Library's exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy.

Literature datasets

Music datasets

  • British Library printed music CSV (ZIP 281,582 KB) Updated May 2015. Records for printed music held at the British Library. Another version of this dataset is available in basic RDF/XML format.
  • British Library manuscript music CSV (ZIP 665 KB) Updated September 2015. Records for manuscript music held at the British Library.
  • History of Music CSV (ZIP 338,002 KB) Updated October 2021. Records for printed music held at the British Library.

Other datasets