API for structured metadata exchange

The National Library is exposing structured metadata in the collective catalogue of the bibnet.lu library network using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

What is OAI-PMH?

The OAI-PMH protocol is a means of exchanging metadata over the Internet between several institutions. The protocol and its specifications are free to use and available on the Open Archives website.

Learn more about OAI-PMH on the official website
How does OAI-PMH work?

The basic operations of the OAI-PMH protocol are based on client-to-server communication. The client sends requests to the server via HTTP and the server responds with a stream of data formatted as XML.

BnL’s server endpoint

The BnL is exposing several sets through its OAI-PMH server, two of them being described in detail below.

The address of the OAI server is:


Metadata Format

The OAI-PMH server provides most data in MARC21 or Dublin Core format. Below, you can find a few links to the official specifications.


MARC21 is a family of standards that are widely used for the representation and exchange of bibliographic, authority, holdings, classification, and community information data in machine-readable form.

MARC21 Specifications
Dublin Core

Dubline Core is a small set of vocabulary terms that can be used to describe digital resources, as well as physical resources and objects.

Dublin Core Specifications