The British National Bibliography dataset has been modelled and represented in RDF using a number of standard schemas. Our approach has been to re-use existing RDF vocabularies. Where we could not find a required property or class, we coined our own terms; these have been declared in the British Library Terms schema.  We have also tried to use non-library domain specific schemas as much as possible.

There are high-level overview diagrams of the data model, one for books, one for serials and one for forthcoming publications

The BNB dataset makes use of the following standard schemas:

Bibliographic Ontology, a vocabulary for describing many types of publication and their related resources;
Bio, a vocabulary for publishing biographical information;
British Library Terms, a small vocabulary complementing existing  bibliographic schemas;
Dublin Core, a vocabulary of basic metadata terms;
Event Ontology, terms for describing events and their participants;
FOAF, terms for describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do;
ISBD, a vocabulary from the International Standard Bibliographic Description standard;
Org, terms supporting linked data publishing of organizational information;
OWL, the Web Ontology Language;
RDA, the unconstrained properties from the RDA element sets;
RDF Schema, the core RDF schema language;
SKOS, terms supporting the publication of subject classifications and taxonomies;
WGS84 Geo Positioning, a vocabulary for representing latitude, longitude and other information about spatially-located things.

The BNB dataset includes links or references to other datasets which contain additional useful contextual data:

GeoNames (for country of publication);
ISNI, the International Standard Name Identifier;
Lexvo, standard language codes;
LCSH, the Library of Congress subject headings declared in RDF;
MARC country codes;
MARC languages codes;
UK Government Interval Set – to represent publication years;
VIAF, the Virtual International Authority File;

Release history (in reverse date order)

  • March 2021 - ISNI URIs are updated to https:// 
  • August 2020 - the umbel ontology used to link to some external entities is removed as it has been formally retired.
  • December 2018 - addition of links to Wikidata for persons and organizations
  • June 2018 - links to the RDF Book Mashup and are removed
  • February 2017 - addition of forthcoming books (CIP) dataset
  • January 2015 - addition of ISNI links for persons and organizations
  • August 2012 - addition of serials dataset
  • November 2011 - addition of monographs published over time to books dataset
  • July 2011 - first publication of monographs subset