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From MARC Silos to Linked Data Silos?

Many libraries are experimenting with publishing their metadata as Linked Data to open up bibliographic silos, usually based on MARC records, to the Web. The libraries who have published Linked Data have all used different data models for structuring their bibliographic data. Some are using a FRBR-based model where Works, Expressions and Manifestations are represented separately. Others have chosen basic Dublin Core, dumbing down their data into a lowest common denominator format. The proliferation of data models limits the reusability of bibliographic data. In effect, libraries have moved from MARC silos to Linked Data silos of incompatible data models. There is currently no universal model for how to represent bibliographic metadata as Linked Data, even though many attempts for such a model have been made.

In this webinar, you’ll see:

  • a survey of published bibliographic Linked Data, the data models proposed for representing bibliographic data as RDF, and tools used for conversion from MARC records
  • an analysis of different use cases for bibliographic Linked Data and how they affect the data model
  • recommendations for choosing a data model

We also present efforts at the National Library of Finland to open up our bibliographic metadata, including the national bibliography Fennica, the national discography Viola and the article database Arto, as Linked Data while trying to learn from the examples of others. We are setting up a conversion process from MARC records to BIBFRAME and compliant RDF, which we are going to publish as Linked Data using various technologies including a SPARQL endpoint, HDT compressed RDF dumps and a Linked Data Fragments API.


Osma Suominen works as an information systems specialist at the National Library of Finland. His current activities are centered around the publishing of bibliographic data, including the Finnish national bibliography Fennica, as Linked Data. He is also one of the creators of the thesaurus and ontology service and is leading development of the Skosmos vocabulary browser used in Finto. Osma Suominen earned his doctoral degree at Aalto University while doing research on semantic portals and quality of controlled vocabularies within the FinnONTO series of projects. His past accomplishments include the Skosify vocabulary analysis and quality improvement tool, and, the Linked Data service of Aalto University.