Author Archives: nwilson

Guidelines For The Future – Sharing Best Practice For National Bibliographies In A Digital Age

The changes brought about by the World Wide Web together with the dramatic growth of digital media have called into question many key assumptions on which national bibliography were founded. At the IFLA Bibliography Standing Committee’s Warsaw satellite meeting to the IFLA 2012 Congress a new web based resource was announced to replace the original printed National Bibliographies in the Digital Age: Guidance and New Directions (2009). After several years of development this new resource will be launched at the IFLA Congress in August 2015.

Why create this new resource?

In an era of disruptive change libraries require authoritative and current best practice guidance on an increasing range of bibliographic issues. The rapidly evolving nature of the subject matter means that a more flexible, open and dynamic solution than traditional printed text is needed. To address this need the IFLA Bibliography Standing Committee has created ‘Best Practice for National Bibliographic Agencies in a Digital Age’ using the new ‘Book Page’ option available on IFLA’s web site.

The new resource is not intended to be prescriptive since bibliographic control inevitably varies widely from country to country and local requirements may be influenced by financial, legal or practical constraints. A number of potential options will therefore be presented to enable their application to be tailored according to individual circumstances, with examples and use cases given to illustrate the possible range of approaches

What topics are covered?

The new resource aims to offer information on a wide range of topics of interest to those involved in the management of bibliographic information. Examples include:

  • Service delivery & lifecycle
  • Resource description & standards
  • Business models & administration
  • How to demonstrate the continuing utility & relevance of services?
  • When to create, develop or cease services?
  • How to decide on appropriate service delivery options
  • What options exist for user support?

How is the resource organised?

In order to ensure the site is easy to use and yet remain flexible for future developments it has been organised by key themes which are further divided by topic. The main themes are:

  1. Background
  2. Organisation
  3. Purpose and value
  4. Scoping and selection
  5. Resource description and standards
  6. Service delivery
  7. Glossary/Useful links
  8. Bibliography

These thematic sections provide links to back up sources to ensure continuing relevance and currency and will be supplemented by ‘real world’ cases that show how libraries are tackling the challenges. It is hoped this sharing of experience will benefit not only new and existing national bibliographic agencies but all who wish to respond to the bibliographic opportunities offered by new technologies and media.

How will the site be kept up to date?

Following the launch, the IFLA Bibliography Standing Committee intends to implement an annual work cycle to maintain and extend the resource as new areas of interest emerge. The SC is also seeking input from experts and other IFLA committees to contribute text or review sections in order to keep it as accurate and relevant as possible.

‘National Bibliographies Transformed: Matters Relating to the Legal Deposit of Electronic Resources’ – The Bibliography Section Open Session at IFLA WLIC 2015

In addition to its section meetings, the Bibliography Section has organised an open session during the 2015 Cape Town conference addressing the legal deposit of electronic resources and the challenges it can pose to national bibliographic agencies.

In many countries the scope of legal deposit is being extended to include electronic resources. However, the legislation and extent of so called ‘e-legal deposit’ varies significantly between countries, as do the methods of collection. Electronic resources pose new challenges to national bibliographic agencies which we wish to explore during this open session

The session (089) will take place from 9.30-11.30 on August 17th in Auditorium 2 of the conference centre and will be chaired by Anders Cato, Chair of the IFLA Bibliography Standing Committee. Papers to be presented will include:

  • Legal Deposit in South Africa: Transformation in a Digital WorldDenise Nicholson (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • The Czech National Bibliography: New Steps to CompletenessEdita Lichtenbergova (National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Ensuring Metadata Quality of e-Legal Deposit in an Ever-Changing Environment – Stina Degerstedt (National Library of Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Legal Deposit of Ebooks in France and its Bearings on Cataloguing and the National BibliographyMathilde Koskas (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France)

We invite colleagues to attend these sessions to find out more about this important topic, ask questions and share experiences.

German National Library Offers Over 11 million MARC21 Records Under CC0 Open License

11.5 million free bibliographic data items now available from the German National Library in MARC 21 format

All the bibliographic data of the German National Library offered under “Creative Commons Zero” conditions are available free of charge as a complete package in MARC 21 format for free use. Included are more than 11.5 million bibliographic data items.

The bibliographic data up to the 2011 bibliography year are currently offered under a “Creative Commons Zero” licence (CC0). Free registration is required in order to use the data. Charges are applied to bibliographic data of the current and the previous year. The data of the next bibliography year is added to the package of free data in the first quarter of each new year.

The intention is to provide all data in all formats free of charge and under CC0 conditions for free use from mid-2015. This represents the German National Library’s response to the growing demand for freely available metadata.

Further information:

Data Service
Business model

A report on the licensing model: Licensing Library and Authority Data Under CC0: The DNB Experience by Lars Svensson is now available.


Bibliography in a Digital Age IFLA Satellite Meeting Warsaw, 9th August 2012

A satellite meeting of the main IFLA Conference in Helsinki took place in Warsaw on 9th August 2012, kindly hosted by the National Library of Poland.

The purpose of the event was to share: experiences, techniques and challenges in the creation and management of national bibliographic services and to begin to identify new themes and best practice for the creation of a new web based resource to replace the current IFLA work ‘National Bibliographies in the Digital Age: Guidance & New Directions (2009)’

Full details of the event together with presentations and films are now available online.

Addendum: Although the conference website is no longer online, view the presentation recordings on the Bibliography Section’s YouTube channel playlist (2021-10-15)


Call For Papers from the IFLA Bibliography SC

The Bibliography Section is making a call for papers for the IFLA WLIC in Helsinki on the theme:
What is a national bibliography today and what are its potential uses?

Proposals may include, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • What should be in a national bibliography in the digital age?
  • Is our common understanding of the terms “National Bibliography” and “National Bibliographic Agency” drastically changing?
  • Official and commercial national bibliographies and the new models of bibliographic information
  • Dissemination of national bibliography data and emerging needs arising from the semantic web
  • National bibliographies and authoritative data: how to provide trusted data in a national bibliography? (role of authority files, repositories, lists of codes, etc.

E-mail proposals should be sent, no later than February 1st, 2012 to:

Françoise Bourdon
Grazyna Jaroszewicz
E-mail: and
Miriam Nauri

  • Please indicate in the subject line “IFLA 2012 Helsinki proposal”.

Bibliography on Swiss History (BSH) now available online

Dear Sir / Madam, Dear Colleagues

We are pleased to inform you that all issues of the Bibliography on Swiss History (BSH) are now available online.

The BSH volumes 1913-1974 have been scanned, OCRd, structured and uploaded to the site under the heading “DDC-940: History of Europe”. The digitization was carried out with the agreement of the Swiss History Association, publisher of the BSH until 1957.

Full text searching may be carried out both across a selected range of volumes or across all volumes simultaneously. In addition within each volume it is possible to go directly to a specific chapter.

The BSH volumes from 1975 onwards are available in the Bibliography on Swiss History database ( Volumes 1975-1998 have been recatalogued in 2010 and integrated in the database. In addition to the usual search options, it is possible to search by chapter. At the moment the years 1975-1998 and 1999-2010 do not have the same chapter structure but they are being unified. Thus, from Spring 2012 the 87,000 bibliographic records in the BSH database will follow the same chapter structure.

We hope this online service will facilitate your daily research work. If you have any questions, please contact the BSH editorial team. (

Yours sincerely

Karin von Wartburg

Editorial Board, Bibliography on Swiss History

Liliane Regamey

Head of User Services


Mesdames, Messieurs, chères et chers collègues,

Nous avons le plaisir de vous informer que tous les volumes de la Bibliographie de l’histoire suisse (BHS) sont maintenant accessibles en ligne.

Les volumes BHS 1913-1974 ont été scannés, OCRisés, structurés et mis en ligne sur la page sous la rubrique “DDC-940: Histoire de l’Europe”. La numérisation a été réalisée d’entente avec la Société suisse d’histoire, éditrice de la BHS jusqu’en 1957.

La recherche plein texte est possible sur certains volumes ou sur tous les volumes. De plus, pour chaque volume, vous pouvez aller directement aux différents chapitres.

Les volumes BHS à partir de 1975 se trouvent dans la base de données Bibliographie de l’histoire suisse ( Les volumes 1975-1998 ont été rétrocatalogués l’année dernière et intégrés à la base de données BHS. En plus des fonctionnalités de recherche usuelles, vous avez la possibilité d’interroger la base de données par chapitres. Pour l’instant, les années 1975-1998 et 1999-2010 n’ont pas encore la même structure de chapitres, mais nous sommes en train de les unifier. A partir du printemps 2012, les 87’000 notices bibliographiques de la base de données Bibliographie de l’histoire suisse suivront la même structure de chapitres.

Nous espérons que ces prestations électroniques faciliteront votre travail quotidien de recherche. Vous pouvez adresser vos questions ou suggestions à la rédaction de la BHS (

Meilleures salutations

Karin von Wartburg

Rédaction Bibliographie de l’histoire suisse

Liliane Regamey

Responsable de la Section utilisation


Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen

Wir freuen uns, Ihnen mitzuteilen, dass neu alle Bände der Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte (BSG) online zugänglich sind.

Die BSG-Jahresbände 1913-1974 wurden gescannt, OCR-erfasst, strukturiert und auf der Seite unter der Rubrik “DDC-940: Geschichte Europas” aufgeschaltet. Die Digitalisierung erfolgte in Absprache mit der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Geschichte, welche bis 1957 Herausgeberin der BSG war.

Über einzelne oder alle Jahresbände hinweg ist die Volltextsuche möglich. Zudem können Sie pro Jahresband direkt zu den einzelnen Sachkapiteln springen.

Ab 1975 sind die BSG-Jahresbände in der Datenbank Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte ( enthalten. Die Bände 1975-1998 wurden im vergangenen Jahr retrokatalogisiert und in die Datenbank BSG eingespeist. Neben den üblichen Abfragemöglichkeiten können Sie die Datenbank nach Sachkapiteln abfragen. Momentan haben die Jahrgänge 1975-1998 und 1999-2010 noch unterschiedliche Sachkapitel, wir sind aber daran, diese zu vereinheitlichen. Ab Frühling 2012 haben alle in der Datenbank Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte enthaltenen rund 87‘000 bibliographischen Aufnahmen die gleichen Sachkapitel.

Wir hoffen, dass diese elektronischen Dienstleistungen Ihren Forschungsalltag erleichtern werden. Bei Fragen oder Anregungen wenden Sie sich bitte an die Redaktion der BSG (

Freundliche Grüsse

Karin von Wartburg

Redaktion Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte

Liliane Regamey

Leiterin Sektion Nutzung


Gentili signori e signore, cari colleghi e colleghe

Abbiamo il piacere di comunicarvi che tutti i volumi della Bibliografia della storia svizzera (BSS) sono adesso accessibili in linea.

I volumi BSS 1913-1974 sono stati scannerizzati, passati all’OCR, strutturati e messi in linea sulla pagina sotto la rubrica “DDC-940: Storia dell’Europa”. La digitalizzazione è stata realizzata in accordo con la Società svizzera di storia, editrice della BSS fino al 1957. La ricerca a testo pieno è possibile su certi volumi oppure su tutti i volumi. Inoltre, per ogni volume, potete passare direttamente ai diversi capitoli settoriali.

I volumi BSS a partire dal 1975 si trovano nella banca dati “Bibliografia della storia svizzera” ( I volumi 1975-1998 sono stati retrocatalogati l’anno scorso ed integrati nella banca dati BSS. Oltre la ricerca usuale, potete consultare la banca dati per capitoli settoriali. Per il momento, le annate 1975-1998 e 1999-2010 non hanno ancora la stessa struttura dei capitoli settoriali, ma li stiamo unificando. A partire dalla primavera 2012,  le 87’000 notizie bibliografiche della banca dati “Bibliografia della storia svizzera” avranno la stessa struttura.

Speriamo che queste prestazioni di servizi elettronici faciliteranno il vostro lavoro quotidiano di ricerca. Vi preghiamo di indirizzare le vostre domande o suggerimenti alla redazione della BSS (

Distinti saluti

Karin von Wartburg

Redazione Bibliografia della storia svizzera

Liliane Regamey

Responsabile Sezione Utilizzazione

The British Library announces new free data options

The British Library has announced that it is going to offer two new ways for libraries and researchers to access its bibliographic data including the British National Bibliography. These are:

  • A free Z39.50 service for libraries to selectively download records in MARC21
  • Bulk data sets in XML (RDF/DC) for researchers and organisations wishing to utilise the data (e.g. data mining)

The British Library is also collaborating with researchers at the University of Cambridge as part of the ‘Open Bibliography’ project investigating new models for libraries to unlock the potential of their records (e.g. as open linked data).

Anyone interested in the new services should contact: