January 5, 2011 – In an announcement from the Library of Congress, they share their pleasure in making available new vocabularies from its Authorities and Vocabularies web service, which provides access to Library of Congress standards and vocabularies as Linked Data. The Authorities and Vocabularies web service was first made available in May 2009 and offered the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the Library’s initial entry into the Linked Data movement. 

Included in the new additions are the MARC Code List for Countries, the MARC Code List for Geographic Areas and the MARC Code List for Languages. The MARC Countries and the MARC Languages have been cross referenced with the appropriate ISOs. In further good news, additional vocabularies will be added in the future, including additional PREMIS controlled vocabularies.

The vocabulary data are published in RDF using the SKOS/RDF Vocabulary. Individual concepts are accessible via a web browser interface or content negotiation, as well as being available for bulk download. In part by assigning each vocabulary and each data value within it a unique resource identifier (URI), the service provides a means for machines to semantically access, use, and harvest authority and vocabulary data that adheres to W3C recommendations, such as Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS). 

The Authorities and Vocabularies web service also makes government data publicly and freely available in the spirit of the Open Government directive. They do invite feedback, specifically in how the data from http://id.loc.gov/ is being used. This feedback directly enables to monitor service levels and provide identified enhancements. 

Melody K. Smith

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