ATLA 2016 - Long Beach



The BIBFRAME Initiative was started by the Library of Congress in 2011 with the intent to "integrate with and engage in the wider information community and still serve the very specific needs of libraries."1

The first version of BIBFRAME was released in 2014 and is still available at The 1.0 version of BIBFRAME was based on four main classes and is illustrated below:


A BIBFRAME Work is a resource reflects the conceptual essence of the cataloging resource.


A BIBFRAME Instance reflects an individual, material embodiment of a BIBFRAME Work and is conceptually similar to a FRBR Manifestation.


BIBFRAME Authorities are resources that represent concepts or things that have key relationships with other BIBFRAME Resources.


BIBFRAME Annotations are resources that assert additional information for other BIBFRAME Resources.




A BIBFRAME Work "reflects the conceptual essence of the cataloged resource: authors, languages, and what it is about (subjects)" and is the most abstract and general resource.

Details …


A BIBFRAME Instance "reflects information such as its publisher, place and date of publication, and format" and embodies a Work in one or more descriptive and less abstract resources.

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A BIBFRAME Instance "reflects information such as its location (physical or virtual), shelf mark, and barcode" of one or more Instances and represents the physical or actual digital object as a resource.

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RDF Class

The BIBFRAME Work is related to the FRBR concept of a Work but unlike FRBR, a BIBFRAME Work is actually a sub-class of a more general or abstract class derived from a RDFS Resource, making BIBFRAME a linked-data vocabulary.

RDF Properties

A BIBFRAME Work has the following properties:

RDF Sub Classes

The BIBFRAME Work is also the parent class for a number of different types of Works listed below:

RDF Graph Examples (turtle formated)


Resource intended to be perceived visually and understood through the use of language in written or spoken form.
<> a bf:Text ;
    bf:title [ a bf:WorkTitle ;
            bf:mainTitle "The pioneer Quakers" ] ;
    relator:aut  <> .

<> rdfs:label "Richard Hallowell" .


Resources expressed in an audible form, including music or other sounds.
<> a bf:Audio ;
    bf:musicMedium [ a bf:MusicMedium ;
            rdfs:label "Libretto" ],
        [ a bf:MusicMedium ;
            rdfs:label "Oratorio"@en ] ;
    bf:title [ a bf:WorkTitle ;
            bf:mainTitle "Messiah"@en ] ;
    bf:voice [ a bf:MusicVoice ;
            rdfs:label "mixed"@en ] ;
    relator:cmp <> .

<> rdfs:label "George Frideric Handel" .


Data encoded in a defined structure. Includes numeric data, environmental data,etc., used by applications software to calculate averages, correlations, etc., or to produce models, etc., but not normally displayed in its raw form.
<> a bf:Dataset ;
    bf:content <,3,6,8,10,12,14,15,16&s=_countryEnglishNameOrderBy:asc,refYear:desc,areaCode:asc&v=1> ;
    bf:title [ a bf:WorkTitle ;
            rdfs:label "Population by religion, sex and urban/rural residence for 2011" ] ;
    relator:cre <> .


Images intended to be perceived as moving, including motion pictures (using liveaction and/or animation), video recordings of performances, events,etc.
<> a bf:MovingImage ;
    bf:title [ a bf:WorkTitle ;
            rdfs:label "The ten commandments" ] ;
    relator:act <>,
        <> ;
    relator:drt <> ;
    schema:url <> .

<> a bf:Person ;
    rdfs:label "Cecil B. DeMille" .


RDF Class

Like a BIBFRAME Work, a BIBFRAME Instance is a RDF Resource subclass. A BIBFRAME Instance combines characteristics of both a FRBR Expression and Manifestation.

RDF Properties

A BIBFRAME Instance has the following properties:

RDF Sub Classes

The BIBFRAME Instance is also the parent class for a number of different types of Instances listed below:

RDF Graph Examples

Print Instance

<> a bf:Instance,
        bf:Print ;
    bf:instanceOf <> ;
    bf:copyrightDate 1887 ;
    bf:provisionActivity [ a bf:Publication ;
            relator:pbl <> ] .

<> a bf:Organization ;
    rdfs:label "Houghton, Mifflin and Company" .

Audio Instance

BIBFRAME 2.0 does not currently have an audio instance type, so to represent an audio instance, the more general BIBFRAME Instance class is used.

<> a bf:Instance ;
    bf:carrier [ a bf:Carrier ;
            rdf:value "audio disc" ] ;
    bf:dimensions "12 in." ;
    bf:extent [ a bf:Extent ;
            rdf:value "3 sound discs" ] ;
    bf:instanceOf <> ;
    bf:soundCharacteristic [ a bf:PlayingSpeed ;
            rdf:value "33 1/3 rpm" ] . 

Dataset Electronic Instances

In this example, we will create two instances of our United Nations BIBFRAME Dataset, one for the XML format and the other for the CSV format.

<> a bf:Electronic ;
    bf:instanceOf <>
    bf:digitalCharacteristic [ a bf:FileType ;
            rdf:value "XML" ],
        [ a bf:EncodingFormat ;
            rdf:value "application/xml" ],
        [ a bf:FileSize ;
            rdf:value "937 KB" ];
    rdfs:label "XML download of Population by religion, sex, and urban/rural residence for 2011" .

<> a bf:Electronic ;
    rdfs:label "CSV download of Population by religion, sex, and urban/rural residence for 2011" ;
    bf:digitalCharacteristic [ a bf:EncodingFormat ;
            rdf:value "text/csv" ],
        [ a bf:FileType,
            rdf:value "Comma separated values" ],
        [ a bf:FileSize,
            rdf:value "213 KB" ];
    bf:instanceOf <> .


Film/DVD Instance

<> a bf:Instance ;
    bf:carrier [ a bf:Carrier ;
            rdf:value "videodisc" ] ;
    bf:instanceOf <> ;
    bf:note [ a bf:Note ;
            rdfs:label "Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed for a motion picture, this version tells the story of the life of Moses. Once favored in the Pharaoh's bousehold, Moses turned his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom" ;
            bf:noteType "summary" ] ;
    bf:videoCharacteristic [ a bf:VideoFormat ;
            rdf:value "DVD NTSC Region 1, widescreen enhanced for 16:0 TVs" ] .


RDF Class

The BIBFRAME Item class is a single example of a BIBFRAME Instance and includes specific identification and inventory management properties like barcode and call number.

RDF Properties

A BIBFRAME Item has the following properties:

RDF Graph Examples

<> a bf:Item ;
    bf:heldBy <> ;
    bf:itemOf <> ;
    bf:shelfMark [ a bf:ShelfMarkLcc ;
            rdf:value "BX7636 .H3" ] ;
    bf:subLocation [ a bf:Sublocation ;
            rdf:value "Coe Library Stacks - Level 1"@en ] .


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