May 27, 2022

Blog Post: “Integrating Wikidata at the Library of Congress”

From The Signal (via a Guest Blog Post by Matt Miller, a Linked Data Applications Technical Specialist in the Network Development and MARC Standards Office in Library Services, Library of Congress:

There has been a growing interest from libraries and other cultural heritage organizations in Wikidata. Of the many potential uses for Wikidata, one emerging area of focus has been using Wikidata as a hub for institutional identifiers. Many organizations maintain unique identifiers for people, subjects, works, etc. If these IDs are all added to Wikidata then you could seamlessly access data from dozens of sources if you know the Wikidata ID. If we return to the author example from above you can see the Wikidata page for Virginia Woolf has ninety external links to various organizations. Many of these are national libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions including the Library of Congress.

Before adding in the Wikidata ids to the system I wanted to check how many Library of Congress authority IDs are already in Wikidata. You can run queries like this using their query interface. At the beginning of 2019 there were around 650,000 IDs already in Wikidata. These are in the system from Wikimedians over time editing data and adding them. Over the next few months using various existing mappings, such as the OCLC VIAF project I bulk loaded 400,000 more LC identifiers into Wikidata. This brought the total Library of Congress identifiers in Wikidata to over one million. The majority of these links are to the Name Authority File with around 35,000 of them linking to the LCSH subject file. These links to Wikidata now appear on over one million authority pages and in the data.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.