Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) announced joining the ISNI network as a registration agency (RA) for Quebec on 3 July 2019 (press release-French). At the Congrès des professionnel.le.s de l’information (CPI) held 2-6 November 2020, three members of the project team presented their implementation of ISNI services: “BAnQ, nouvelle agence ISNI :
pour qui et à quoi ça sert?”. The slides are available (in French): https://congrescpi.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BAnQ-nouvelle-agence-ISNI_Poirier-Danielle_CPI-2020.pdf.
This project shows the synergy that exists between the role of a national bibliographic agency and an ISNI-RA. BAnQ is responsible for the Bibliographie du Québec, published online at: https://www.banq.qc.ca/ressources_en_ligne/bib_bibliographie.html and described in the Bibliography Section’s National Bibliographic Register. In their CPI presentation on 5 November 2020, Wassim Cherif, Marie-Chantal L’Écuyer-Coelho, and Danielle Poirier, explain why BAnQ decided to join the ISNI network and their one-year implementation process for ISNI services.
The first stage involved submitting ISNI identifier requests in batch for all personal and corporate body names present in the national library’s name authority file. Of approximately 300,000 authority records sent in November 2019, 210,000 entities, or 70%, received an ISNI through this retrospective process.
The next step was to integrate ISNI assignment with creating or updating name authority records during current cataloguing. The scope is materials of received by legal deposit and catalogued for the national bibliography. A daily process, implemented in August 2020, extracts the appropriate name authorities, submits them for ISNI assignment via API, and then imports the ISNI into field 024 of the authority record. Of 4,350 authority records submitted in the first two months of this service, 3,740 or 86%, received an ISNI.
The daily process captures names that are in scope for the authority file and that come through legal deposit. However, some creators of cultural products are not included in the national library’s collecting scope and fall outside of legal deposit. To provide these creators with ISNI identifiers, BAnQ created a web form for requesting an ISNI: https://isni-formulaires.banq.qc.ca/. This was launched in September 2020.
The project is a fascinating example of how a national bibliographic agency can expand its service offer beyond the traditional, and prepare the national bibliography for linked data applications.