The data.bnf.fr project has to be placed in the context of our move towards open data. This approach has been defined by the W3C, regarding the “semantic web” or “linked data”.
This is about structuring resources in order to make them reusable by machines in a better way. The data.bnf.fr project uses data which have been created in various formats such as InterMarc for the main catalogue, XML-EAD for archives inventories and Dublin Core for the digital library.
Such data is automatically gathered, modeled, enriched and published in the RDF semantic web language. The result is available on the website, in different RDF syntaxes: RDF-XML, RDF-N3, RDF-NT, JSON.
Data.bnf.fr et Gallica won the Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL). See the Stanford complete report
CubicWeb It is an open source platform for semantic web applications under LGPL licence.
You can retrieve or request our data:
A dump of all data in data.bnf.fr is also available on our FTP server: hôte : echanges.bnf.fr, port : 21
login : databnf, password : databnf
et via HTTP: whole dump rdf (rdf/xml)
This dump is split in specific dumps:
See the Open License, to reuse the data.
Last update: november 2011.
Our data is linked to the equivalent pages in other data repositories. They are matched to external datasets.
RAMEAU subject headings are matched to:
Data about authors is also linked to:
BnF identifies bibliographic and authority descriptions and digital documents with ARK identifiers.
This identifier is built this way:
More information about ARK identifiers at BnF (French).
This record identifier is also used to link different records and different BnF databases together.
the record http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb30625225, is linked to the record " Victor Hugo ":
100 $311907966 $w.0..b.....$aHugo$mVictor$d1802-1885$40070
In data.bnf.fr, URIs are built with the ARK of the authority record of the Main catalogue. They identify the concepts that are described in the skos:concept class, in our data model.Example:
To facilitate pages indexing by search engines, data.bnf.fr URL have explicit labels.
The URL of work, author and themes pages is made this way: http://data.bnf.fr/ID/label
there is a HTTP redirection mechanism from ARK identifiers and URIs to URL:
We have a content negotiation mechanism:
http://data.bnf.fr/11907966/victor_hugo/” brings a representation of the page that depends on the HTTP header.
Data.bnf.fr is carried out in the context of the recent evolutions of bibliographic description, by experimenting and adapting the FRBR (Functional requirements for Bibliographic Records) model, elaborated by the IFLA (International Federation for Library Associations).
The model has three entity groups which are linked together by relationships: information about documents, persons and organizations, and subjects.
The first group of the FRBR model describes the different aspects of an intellectual or art creation, and discerns 4 levels: work, expression, manifestation and item.
The work level is about the intellectual and artistic creation. For instance: Le colonel Chabert by Honoré de Balzac. “Work” pages are created using the related authority records from BnF Main Catalogue.
The expression level is a version of a work. In data.bnf.fr, you will find: the type of document, the language of the document and the relation to a contributor (illustrator, translator, author of a preface…). Example : http://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb32262848x#frbr:Expression.
The manifestation level is the physical embodiment of a work. For instance an edition of Les Misérables like “Nouvelle impression illustrée. 1879-1882. Paris. E. Hugues”. This level corresponds to the bibliographic record in BnF Main catalogue, or to a manuscript that is identified by a label in the Archives and Manuscript Catalogue (BnF archives et manuscrits).There can be a part-whole relationship between a work and another work. For example: Le Père Goriot (Honoré de Balzac), is part of the work Scenes de la vie privée, by the same author, and both are considered as works and have a page in data.bnf.fr (http://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb427567440).
A person or an organization can be either the “author” of a work (then there is a link between the “author” page and the related “work” page) or “contributor” of an expression (translator, preface writer, librettist…).
Nevertheless, as the expression level is not different from the manifestation level in the html pages of data.bnf.fr, contributors do only appear at the manifestation level. The different creation or contribution roles are listed in a BnF repository, in the Intermarc format, and in the Library of Congress repository, in Marc. This kind of data enriches the RDF of the pages.
Among retrievable data, there are subjects records from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (RAMEAU, which is the French indexation language). They have been converted into the RDF language SKOS (Simple Kowledge Organisation), in the context of the European project TELplus. This repository is now updated on data.bnf.fr with the whole current database from the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
In order to get dereferenceable URIs in our website, URIs from the initial project such as http://stitch.cs.vu.nl/vocabularies/rameau/ark:/12148/cb12650268p, have to be converted to simple and uniform URIs with: the root: http://data.bnf.fr and the ARK identifier of the authority subject record.
The URI http://stitch.cs.vu.nl/vocabularies/rameau/ark:/12148/cb12650268p, the subject “ornithologie”, will be replaced by: http://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb12650268p.
Manifestations which have a RAMEAU term as a subject are brought together in the appropriate “subject” page.
Moreover the site holds pages that gather works and manifestations about a work or an author.
These pages are not indexed by search engines and are available from the “work” or “author” pages.
For instance: on the page “Napoleon”, there is a link towards a page presenting documents about Napoleon such as Vie de Napoléon Buonaparte, 1827.
In “work” and “author” pages, all manifestations by a single author are gathered around his works, thanks to the explicit link to title authority record (Titre Conventionnel or TIC, in French) , inside the original bibliographic record.
In the meantime some manifestations are not linked to the title authority record and remain “orphan”. In order to improve the way our data is translated in FRBR and to bring a better service to the public, it is important to align these orphan manifestations, which means bringing them together around the corresponding work.Example:
That is why we have already produced simple alignments in data.bnf.fr . When a manifestation is explicitly linked to an author authority record in the bibliographic record, and when the character string of this manifestation is exactly the same as the work’s title, then the manifestation is aligned with the work.
Yet, after this simple alignment, many manifestations remain orphan. In the long term two solutions are possible:
The data model is presented here:
See also : model for places (geographic records)
BnF ontology : for specific needs, BnF created classes and properties, published under the address: http://data.bnf.fr/ontology/bnf-onto/.
BnF vocabulariesBnF specific vocabularies are displayed at this address : http://data.bnf.fr/vocabulary-en. .
“Author”, “work” and “subject” pages are open on the Web and can be reached by search engines.
This is why, except from the traditional methods used for indexing the homepage, we have chosen to embed two kinds of data to structure these pages:
It is a very simple vocabulary to encode in RDFa metadata to be retrieved when the user adds the resource to its Facebook profile.
Here is a mapping between the MARC format (Intermarc and Unimarc) and EAD in use at BnF, to RDF, as implemented in data.bnf.fr.
Data.bnf.fr relies on bibliographic data that is structured and linked together, on order to build pages about authors, works and themes. In particular: