Library Ontology

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Library Ontology Draft

Editor: Jakob Voß (but everybody feel free to modify this page, it's a wiki!)

The Library Ontology is a proposed RDFS/OWL ontology to describe information about libraries in RDF. Up to now it is drafted in an open planning phase. There are many formats and some ontologies for bibliographic data, addresses, and places which could be reused (instead of reinventing the wheel). Information about libraries is collected in several library registries which could be mapped to the Library Ontology.

No background needed but fluent in RDF/Turtle syntax? Then goto Library Ontology Concepts!


The purpose of the Library Ontology can best be described by examples and use cases. For example how do you state and express (in RDF) ...

  • that something is a library?
  • that some library building belongs to a given library institution?
  • opening times in RDF?
  • the URL of the OPAC of a library?
  • which fees are bound to the use of the library (library card, reminder charges etc.)?
  • that a given collection is held by one library?
  • that a given collection is owned by someone?
  • the type of a library (if "type" is a usefull concept at all)?
  • ...

please add more use-cases when you stumble upon!

Some information can be expressed by existing Ontologies like vCard, but surely there are concepts and relationships which only make sense in context of libraries. The Library Ontology should define this RDFS/OWL classes and properties and collect existing classes and properties to be used for the description of libraries.


The basic concepts of the Library Ontology are collected at the page Library Ontology Concepts.

Existing library registries

The International ISIL Agency maintains a registry of library registries which act as local ISIL authorities.

Other related projects:

Other linked data sources with library information

  • dbpedia
  • ...

Relevant formats and models