Open data at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries

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"We will establish the necessary mechanisms to provide open access to digital content and data that are under Library control and eligible for Creative Commons licenses."Goals for Collections, University of Pennsylvania Libraries Strategic Plan for 2015-2017

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries has among its missions, ensuring access to scholarship; empowering research, teaching, and professional practice; and, enabling innovation and creativity. The following mechanisms reflect our commitment to the sharing and reuse of data.

Open bibliographic records

Sharing, using, blending, and repurposing metadata improves the discoverability and usefulness of library resources. The Penn Libraries will not place restrictions on the use of metadata that it creates for information resources, and will not place restrictions on other metadata beyond what is required by its creators."University of Pennsylvania Libraries Open Metadata Policy

In support of its open metadata policy, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries has released the bibliographic records for the items described in its Franklin catalog including books, serials, electronic resources, sound recordings, scores, videos, manuscripts, dissertations and theses, images, and many other materials.

The records are offered, as is, in two MARCXML datasets:

  1. Catalog records created by Penn Libraries - available for public use and released under Creative Commons CC0
  2. Catalog records derived from other sources (e.g., OCLC) - released under Open Data Commons ODC-BY
    Penn Libraries requests that you act in accordance with the community norms set forth in the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative.

Franklin can also be accessed using the Z39.50 protocol.

Open collections


"The Penn Libraries is committed to the open use and reuse of digital assets to the extent allowable by contractual agreements and to the limits of the law."Open Data: Insights for Policy and A Road Map (DigitalPenn Team)

OPenn is a website containing complete sets of high-resolution archival images of manuscripts and cultural heritage material from Penn Libraries and other contributing institutions, along with machine-readable descriptive and technical metadata. All materials on the site are in the public domain or released under Creative Commons licenses as Free Cultural Works.

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