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Last edited by George
November 23, 2009 | History

Open Library Information Sheet

This page is intended to answer common questions about the Open Library project and its goals. It is also intended to assuage the concerns of libraries that may be interested in the project but hesitant to submit their data. Other questions may also be answered in the FAQ or the OCLC page.

The Open Library

The Open Library is a project dedicated to collecting and cataloging information about every book ever written. In particular, it collects:

The Open Library aims to collect this information and provide it for free on its website. The general public will be allowed to contribute to, catalog, reuse, and maintain the data as they see fit.

The Open Library Project is backed by the Internet Archive, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 94-3242767) and a registered library. They are also a member of the Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations dedicated to building a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. It is also working with the Wikimedia Foundation to integrate Open Library into Wikipedia to make it easy for Wikipedia articles to cite books.

How can I help?

To complete its collection, the Open Library needs your organization's catalog records. This is simply an export of your existing cataloging system, so that we can include information about all the books in your collection in Open Library. We're happy to accept records in any format (although we prefer MARC) and they can easily be uploaded to our servers over the Internet.

What will you do with my data?

Data provided to the Open Library will be connected up with book reviews and other data sources and featured on our web site, attracting users of search engines and Wikipedia to the books in your catalog and informing them that they can get a local copy at your library.

Are other libraries cooperating?

The Open Library project is continually negotiating with libraries who are interested in the project. So far, participating libraries include:

with many more in discussion.

Who do I talk to?

Contact with questions or to arrange a contribution.


November 23, 2009 Edited by George Changed to info@ email address for contact.
October 12, 2008 Edited by webchick typo
October 12, 2008 Edited by webchick typo
July 16, 2008 Edited by Aaron Swartz fmt
April 9, 2008 Created by Alexis Rossi adding page