National Bibliographic Register

The Section’s ongoing project, the National Bibliographic Register (NBR), has moved to a new address with IFLA’s website renewal. You can find it directly at: https://www.ifla.org/g/bibliography/national-bibliographic-register/

The Register consists of profiles of national bibliographies, submitted by those responsible for them. Each profile includes information on the scope of the bibliography, the organization of the national bibliographic agency, the format the bibliography and its metadata is available in, and the standards used. The NBR began in 2009. Updated and additional profiles are integrated as they are received.

In addition to making the profiles available in their own words, since 2015 the Section has designed a system for comparison of the responses question by question. The analysis of the 48 entries received up to August 2021 is complete. The full comparative data tables and graphics were posted at the end of August. These graphics provide an overview of the options different bibliographies have taken, and permit a quick visualization. The comparative tables indicate which bibliographies appear in which category.

The NBR analysis has been the subject of recent conference presentations.

  • Insights from IFLA’s Register of National Bibliographies – Pat Riva (7:03) at National Libraries Now on 16 September 2021. Paper available.
  • A perspective on national bibliographies from the IFLA Bibliography section – Mathilde Koskas, prepared with Pat Riva (minutes 15:01-25:04) at the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) Bibliographical Data Working Group’s workshop “National Bibliographies and Catalogs: Curation and Research” on 30 September 2021. Slides available.

The recordings of these two presentations (in English) can be viewed through the Bibliography YouTube channel on the playlist: On the National Bibliographic Register.

The whole DARIAH national bibliographies workshop (2 hours) is well worth viewing. The Finnish, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, and Swedish national libraries presented on their bibliographic data tools and services, with an emphasis on their national bibliographies.

The IFLA Metadata Newsletter is another source of information on the analysis of the NBR. Consult the series of four articles by Pat Riva, for a tour of all the sections.

  • “National Bibliographic Register”, v.3, no.1 (June 2017), p.18-19. (section 1)
  • “National Bibliographic Register”, v.3, no.2 (December 2017), p.26-28. (section 6)
  • “The National Bibliographic Register, putting national bibliographies in context”, v.7, no.1 (June 2021), p.5-12. (sections 3, 4 (part), and 5)
  • “National Bibliographies revealed in the National Bibliographic Register”, v.7, no.2 (December 2021), [forthcoming]. (sections 2, 4 (remainder))

The NBR analysis has been a fascinating project to coordinate during my term on the Bibliography Section Standing Committee. Each profile gives insight into a national bibliography and the agency behind it. The comparative analysis is sometimes surprising, showing which solutions are common and which are unique. It has given me a lot to think about, and I hope it will for you as well.

Now that my term on the Bibliography Section has come to an end, a new team consisting of Maud Henry (Belgium), Rebecca Higgins (Australia), and Marika Holmblad (Sweden), is taking over coordinating the NBR. Many thanks for taking this on! I’m sure you will find it rewarding.

The NBR will continue being relevant as long as it is kept up to date. We all benefit from the increased information sharing. Send new profiles or updates to existing profiles, to the Section’s Information Coordinator, Monika Szunejko.

1 Response to “National Bibliographic Register”


  • It has been instructive and stimulating to follow Pat’s work on the NBR. The introduction of the charts and tables has changed the way we use the Register.
    Thanks, Pat!

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