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Terms of use of records

The Bibliothèque nationale de France provides bibliographic data (in the form of both descriptive and authority records), which it creates and makes available under the following terms of use.


What is meant by « records »?
  • Records are standard elements that identify, describe or analyze a document on whatever media, a reference or digital resource in the data format chosen by the BnF.

What is meant by « data »?

  • Bibliographic records created by the BnF to describe and point out documents and resources received under the legal deposit scheme.
  • Bibliographic records from the Catalogue général de la BnF and from the BnF Archives et manuscrits catalog.
  • Authority records (persons, corporate bodies, titles, uniform titles for music, geographic names, RAMEAU subject authority records)
The whole composes the bibliographic and authority databases of the BnF, whatever the data format is (production format, extraction and distribution format, display format).

 What is meant by « products »?

  • Comprehensive sets of data extracted by the BnF from its bibliographic and authority databases and available for dissemination: catalog of printed materials, catalog of audiovisual materials prior to 1983, French national bibliography (books, serials, audiovisual materials, printed music, cartographic materials, French national bibliography by printing area), authority records for names of persons, corporate bodies, titles, uniform titles for music, geographic names, RAMEAU (this list remains open as new products may be proposed and others removed).
  • Sets of data created on request and called « custom products ».
What is meant by « services »?

The possibility to extract a data or sets of data following specific technical protocols (FTP, Z 39.50, OAI-PMH...). These services are described on the BnF’s website.

Data ownership

Data is BnF ownership in the sense of articles L 2112-1 of the property code for public bodies.

Catalogs are databases created by the BnF in the sense of the articles L. 341-1 ff. of the intellectual property code.

Re-use of data

Re-use of data is regulated by law no. 78-753 dated 17th July 1978, modified by Ordonnance of 6th June 2005 on the freedom to access administrative documents and re-use public information.

In the case of not-for-profit use:
  • Any person or body who purchases records from the BnF is allowed to use, adapt, modify and disseminate them;
  • In return for that permission, the purchaser is committed to preserve permanently within the record a statement of its source, i.e. the content of field 001 of the BnF record, in the appropriate field of the target format (e.g.  field 035 in UNIMARC). In addtion, if data is adapted or modified, the user must notify third parties that it is the case.
In the case of commercial use:
The use of data for commercial purposes (dissemination as part of a product or service intended to be made available to third parties, for free or for fee as long as it is to a commercial) is submitted to an agreement and the payment of an annual fee.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Coordination of Bibliographic Products and Services (Coordination des produits et services bibliographiques)
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