Share Family - Linked Data Ecosystem for Libraries

Working together, we can enhance catalogues, improve the visibility of collections and provide a better user experience for patrons.

Libraries, archives and museums hold a vast quantity of data and resources that, until now, have often remained hidden from sight in catalogues and archives. By implementing the BIBFRAME data model and facilitating the interoperability with IFLA LRM and other widely used ontologies, bibliographic information can be transformed into Linked Data, revealing it to a wider audience and encouraging greater engagement with library, archive and museum collections.

Linking bibliographic data and resources from a network of libraries, archives and museums increases the dissemination and discoverability of knowledge and allows patrons to search in a range of catalogues at once.

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What is the Share Family?

The Share Family is a global community built on collaboration that brings together libraries, archives, museums, consortia and Library Service Platforms (LSP) and joins their knowledge in an ever-widening network of interconnected bibliographic data.

The Share Family creates connections across the bibliographic catalogues and authority files of libraries with similar characteristics and focus areas in shared discovery environments that are tailored to each specific domain or discipline, in order to accommodate distinct systems, habits and cataloguing traditions.

The concept behind the Share Family originates in Share-VDE, the practical continuation of an initial pilot project which began in October 2016. Thanks to the active involvement and collaboration of a group of prominent North American, Asian and European national and research libraries, Share-VDE has evolved from a Research and Development pilot project to become a real and effective environment for library linked data, with an advanced, collaborative entity management system and entity discovery portal. Its role in linked open data for libraries is outlined in detail in the Share-VDE Executive Summary. Share-VDE also adopts an Open Metadata Policy, approved by its Advisory Council. Furthermore, the Share Family Executive Summary for Consortia offers additional insights into how the Share Family can assist consortia in transitioning to linked open data, providing valuable strategies and support.

The Share Family...

  • supports its members in the transition from traditional cataloguing environments to innovative models based on linked open data and collaborative entity management

  • connects, enhances and extends networks of information

  • enables its members to keep pace with web technology as it evolves

Which Collaborative Environments are there within the Share Family?
  • National Bibliographies in Linked Open Data
    The aggregation of data from National Bibliographies in a shared entity discovery environment; the first of these is the British National Bibliography, soon to go into production.
  • Share-Art, Share-Music and Share MIA
    Three pilot projects for shared environments in the domains of Art, Music and Manuscripts, Incunabula and Ancient books, respectively.
How does it work?

The technology behind the Share Family is the LOD Platform, an innovative framework developed specifically for the conversion, structuring and re-use of bibliographic data in linked open data, according to the BIBFRAME data model .

Interoperable across library types and LSPs, the LOD Platform offers a range of services, applications and technology, which can be used to:

  • convert library catalogues from MARC to linked open data
  • enrich original MARC data
  • reconcile and clusterize entities created through entity resolution processes
  • guarantee the quality and authoritativeness of data also through new forms of collaborative endeavour
  • deliver converted and enriched data for reuse in local or external systems
  • publish library records in linked open data on an advanced entity discovery platform
  • facilitate the interoperability among different data models and data pools

Each institution receives the information corresponding to its own catalogue in linked open data; this may be re-used according to local requirements and with no restrictions.

Library consortia and Library Service Providers may also benefit from integration with new-generation functions and tools and interoperability with the Share Family, without sacrificing control of their own metadata.

Discover more about each individual component of the LOD Platform in the chart below.

Through the LOD Platform, libraries can...

  • harness the potential of linked open data to connect and present bibliographic information in dynamic formats

  • benefit from access to advanced tools that allow direct interaction with bibliographic data

  • enhance the visibility of their resources, including those that may previously have remained undetected in a traditional catalogue

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Advanced API Layer 

Advanced Entity Model 

Tenant Infrastructure 


Triple Store Indexing 

Integration with Other Systems 

Authority Services 


JCricket Editor 

Discovery Portal 1.0 

Discovery Portal 2.0 


Deliverable D1 

Deliverable D2 

Why join the Share Family?

Becoming part of the global Share Family of libraries, museums and archives means embracing the opportunity to be involved in a growing international community, creating dialogue, participation and partnership.

The Share Family opens the door to a flexible, sustainable, interoperable and co-operative approach to bibliographic data, with time, expertise and costs shared across the community for the benefit of all members.

By working together, Share Family member institutions and consortia organizations are actively involved in shaping the future of the emerging ecosystem of bibliographic data in linked data, facilitating the re-use of enriched and structured data and serving the research community with a new generation tool to access knowledge.

Contact us to find out more about the opportunities, options and advantages available and to get involved!

Who makes the Share Family what it is?


Developed and driven by libraries, for libraries, the Share Family is guided by the international library community through a constant exchange of ideas and principles that, together, define the vision, aims and progress of each environment and its tools.
The Share Family collaborates on the application and understanding of linked data with the Linked Data for Production (LD4P) initiative, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and several international networks across the cultural heritage sector.


The Share Family and opportunities for collaboration with the Share Family are promoted by international bibliographic agency and leading library supplier,  Casalini Libri.


The LOD platform is developed and maintained by  @Cult, ILS provider and software house specialising in the design and creation of solutions for information management and knowledge sharing.


As members of the Share Family, participating institutions play an active and collaborative role in defining and designing the tools that will be used in their own libraries, from theory to implementation.