Harvard Releases 12 Million Library Records

Harvard Library, Cambridge, H. P. Kendrick, Public Domain

Big news came in yesterday that Harvard is releasing the entirety of its library metadata online and under a CC-0 license in accordance with its Open Metadata Policy. The collection includes information about books, videos, audio recordings, manuscripts and maps held within Harvard’s 73 libraries.

The 12 million records are in MARC21 format and are available to download from the Harvard servers and can also be accessed through The Data Hub. They will also be accessible through the APIs of the The Digital Public Library of America.

Stuart Shieber, director of Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication, acknowledged the likelihood that things will be done with the data that they never expected. “This data serves to link things together in ways that are difficult to predict,” he said. “The more information you release, the more you see people doing innovative things.”

See the original announce post on the Harvard website here.