About the Library of Congress BIBFRAME Metadata Production Pilot

This project is a full-scale pilot for input of BIBFRAME descriptions to a native BIBFRAME system. It was described in the original proposal as three different projects because the different forms of material have special aspects to be explored, but the pilot will be one integrated system. Because a “real” metadata environment is needed, the system will include the Library of Congress catalog converted to the BIBFRAME model and vocabulary. The pilot will encompass monographs, serials, music, cartographic, still and moving image, and audio resources. This variety of material will provide information on the use of models for AV laid out in a 2015 study of media www.loc.gov/bibframe/docs/pdf/bibframe-avmodelingstudy-may15-2014.pdf; differentiation of technical from description metadata http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/docs/bibframe-avassessment.html; use of different cataloging standards, primarily RDA but also other description rules; and fit of unique material to the model. 

Library of Congress Metadata Production Pilot in LD4P Grant Proposal

  • Working pilot that includes the Library of Congress catalog converted to the BIBFRAME model
  • Editor that is sharable with the community
  • Files of BIBFRAME descriptions that will enable others to experiment more fully with retrieval options
  • Specifications and conversion programs for transformation of MARC to BIBFRAME
Completed and Ongoing Activities
  • Infrastructure for the BIBFRAME Pilot development stabilized. (July 2017)
  • Revision of the id.loc.gov (ID) vocabulary system which is an integral part of the BIBFRAME description input system completed. (June 2017)  Improved lookups for LCSH and TGM (January 2018)
  • MARC bibliographic records converted to BIBFRAME works and instances. (June 2017)
  • MARC name/title and title authority records converted to BIBFRAME works. (June 2017)
  • Merge and match of the BIBFRAME data created from conversion of the MARC data completed and refinement ongoing. (June 2017 and continuing)
  • Profiles of metadata for different forms of material in Pilot completed and refinement ongoing. (June 2017 and continuing)
  • Development of an editor for creating new BIBFRAME descriptions for of works (bibliographic material) and agents (persons, organizations, etc.) completed and ongoing (July 2017 and continuing).  Improvements to enable enhancement of existing BIBFRAME descriptions (June 2018).
  • Mechanisms to support necessity for catalogers to input to BIBFRAME and then MARC (since MARC must remain the database of record because of community dependence) and to integrate descriptions from non-Pilot catalogers developed.  (July 2017)
  • Training material for cataloging staff in the pilot completed. (June 2017)
  • 40 catalogers from the first pilot retrained on the differences in the new system. (June 2017)
  • Train 20 additional catalogers on BIBFRAME mechanics and techniques. (July-August 2017)
  • Pilot launched (June 2017)
  • Maintain moving parts of pilot and analyze vocabulary, system, output, vocabulary, and user access.  (Ongoing)
  • Files of BIBFRAME descriptions made available for download at http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/implementation/pdf/bibframe-bulk-download.pdf (June 2018)
  • Began development of BIBFRAME to MARC conversion specifications and programs.  (June 2018)
  • Began tests of integration of an LD4P vocabulary extension into Pilot (July 2018).

Linked Data Creation

  • Data for the Pilot is being linked to URIs wherever possible/logical.

Tool Exploration/Requirements Definition


  • Discussions held with the PCC.
  • LC staff participated in LD4P groups working on special forms of material such as performed music, still image, visual materials, and cartography.
  • Maintained collaborative contacts with OCLC, Casalini Libri, Zepheira, and others for vocabulary and pilot developments.

Community Engagement

  • BIBFRAME listserv supported open access for comments and for announcing project steps completed and tools at BIBFRAME@listserv.loc.gov
  • Information about BIBFRAME and the pilot published as it became available at http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/
  • Github used for open download and access of programs.
  • Special BIBFRAME Update session planned for each ALA with reports on LD4P projects featured.
  • Helped plan European meeting on BIBFRAME implementations.


Sally McCallum (NDMSO, Library of Congress)
Judith Cannan (COIN, Library of Congress)
Nate Trail (NDMSO, Library of Congress)
Kirk Hess (NDMSO, Library of Congress)
Ray Denenberg (NDMSO, Library of Congress)
Paul Frank (COIN, Library of Congress)
Les Hawkins (COIN, Library of Congress)
Wayne Schneider (Indexdata)
Amy Swanson (CIO, Library of Congress)

Current Work

The pilot draws on the work done in the other LC project, BIBFRAME Ontology Development, where the vocabulary and model for BIBFRAME 2.0 were established and conversion programs for the back file of MARC records to BIBFRAME descriptions and model were developed. This work has largely been completed and is in maintenance as the development of this project highlights changes needed. 

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