Several German libraries are releasing their catalogue data openly

By EDRi · March 24, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Einige deutsche Bibliotheken veröffentlichen ihre Katalogdaten |]

Some German libraries, most of them from Cologne, announced at the
beginning of the Leipzig Congress for Information and Library on 15 March
2010 that they would release 5.4 million bibliographic records under an
open licence.

The University and Public Library of Cologne (USB), the Library of the
Academy of Media Arts Cologne, the University Library of the University of
Applied Science of Cologne and the the Library Centre of
Rhineland-Palatinate in cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalian Library
Service Center are the first German libraries to implement the Open Access
principles to their catalogue data, by releasing them under the Creative
Commons Zero licence.

Rolf Thiele, deputy director of the USB Cologne, states: “Libraries
appreciate the Open Access movement because they themselves feel obliged to
provide access to knowledge without barriers. Providing this kind of access
for bibliographic data, thus applying the idea of Open Access to their own
products, has been disregarded until now. Up to this point, it was not
possible to download library catalogues as a whole. This will now be
possible. We are taking a first step towards a worldwide visibility of
library holdings on the internet.”

Silke Schomburg, deputy director of the North Rhine-Westphalian Library
Service Center underlined that these “libraries are funded by the public.
And what is publicly financed should be made available to the public without
restrictions.” She also points that the catalogue data of the libraries can
enhance the Internet development, providing the example of the Wikipedia
Germany and the usage of the German National Library data under an open

The Regional Library Service Center is also in discussions with other public
libraries in their network in an effort to be actively involved in the
Semantic web.

The library of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has
already published its data under a public domain licence in January.

March 2010: Releasing catalogue data: Cologne-based libraries to pioneer
Open Data practices (15.03.2010)

Open Access: Libraries free catalog data (only in German, 15.03.2010)

Leipzig Congress for Information and Library (only in German)

North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre : Linked Open Data