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Use Case Data BNF

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Data BNF



Background and Current Practice

Until now, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) makes different kinds of resources available on the Web. On the first hand, our library catalogue, with more than 12 million records, all structured and linked together. It relies on two million accurate and reliable authority records about authors, organisations, works and subjects. Through the legal deposit, all recent French publications are covered. Gallica (http://gallica.bnf.fr) is our own digital library, with a million online documents. About a third of them are searchable in full text, from the Gallica portal. But we also have a specific online catalogue describing manuscripts and special collections using the EAD DTD, a whole set of online exhibitions (no standardized metadata format) and free reference services allowing anyone to ask a Librarian.


- Make our resources easier to find.

Target Audience

- General public.

- Computer programs and crawlers.

Use Case Scenario

- Jean-Pierre and Marie-Odile live in a pretty French town. They are not used to go to the local library website, or the local library catalogue, or any library website for that matter. Yet, they use the Internet almost anytime they need information. One day, they want to find some information regarding Victor Hugo's Les travailleurs de la mer. They find Web pages from Wikipedia, Amazon, and the BnF. Jean-Pierre advises Marie-Odile to follow the BnF link, because he thinks that information coming from a public institution should be reliable. There, he finds a HTML page about Victor Hugo's Les travailleurs de la mer. Marie-Odile notices that BnF owns the original manuscript by Victor Hugo. Jean-Pierre is amazed by the number of different editions ; he can even access some of them online through Gallica. There is also an online exhibition which provides many pictures and information about Victor hugo and his writings related to the sea. Finally, they can find links to a page about Victor Hugo, and pages about other related works, like the 1917 movie Les travailleurs de la merby André Antoine. Jean-Pierre creates a blog about Les travailleurs de la mer, and adds a link to the BnF page.

Application of linked data for the given use case

- Bring together data from several bases, with a scalable data model.

- Use this data to publish structured HTML Web pages.

- Align and link with other existing resources.

Related Vocabularies (optional)

- skos (concept level), foaf (Agents), DC (basic bibliographic info) and rda (Works- manifestations relationships, roles for agents).

Problems and Limitations

- The "Web of data" needs to be advocated because it has a cost and no obvious benefit to end users.

- The data model could easily become too complex. Source data is not FRBRised, and partly not standardised.

- Legal issue: With the current legal restrictions, it would be necessary to contact us for commercial re-use.

Related Use Cases and Unanticipated Uses (optional)

- Possible uses are quite broad (e.g. general interest, bibliography, access to digital collections, homework, genealogy, online bookselling business, other digital libraries…).