Bibliographic Data Distribution

Find bibliographic data/metadata for books available in Canada:


  • Bibliographic Data Services
  • Image Web Services
    • Cover - Returns either a thumbnail version of the cover or the full-size image, as provided.
    • Back  -  Returns either a thumbnail version of the back cover or the full-size image, as provided.
    • Interior - Returns either a thumbnail version of interior images or the full-size image.
    • Author - Returns either a thumbnail version of the author photo(s) or the full-size image.
    • Info - Returns information about a specific image in the repository.
    • List - Returns information about all images (covers, author and interiors) for a particular EAN.]
  • BISH Assets: Returns a list of all assets held in BiblioShare regarding an isbn including:
    • ONIX 3.0
    • ONIX 2.1
    • Images
    • Position
    • Samples
  • ISBNs for Assets: Returns a list of all ISBNs held in BiblioShare regarding an Asset including:
    • Sample
    • Excerpt
    • TOC
    • Guide
    • Teacher's guide
    • Back cover
    • Author photo
  • Sample
    • Sample - returns a pdf or epub for download
    • Excerpt - returns a pdf or epub for download
    • TOC - returns a pdf or epub for download 
    • Guide - returns a pdf or epub for download
    • Teacher's guide - returns a pdf or epub for download
  • MARC Record Web Service - Returns a full or brief MARC record for specified EANs

We continually update the information supplied by the publisher/distributor to give you the most up-to-date bibliographic record or image. All you need to retrieve data is the ISBN-13/EAN of the item and some other basic request information.

Please find below instructions on how to receive a user token to get started and the terms of use.

We want your feedback. So let us know what works and what doesn't work. Reach us at biblioshare@booknetcanada.ca.

ONIX Web Service

The ONIX Web Service allows a user to pull a full ONIX record for titles in the Canadian market. This web service is for you if you're looking for extremely detailed information about books. It's big and complex, but it gives you access to all the data we have on an individual title.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us (see below).
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
  3. This will deliver a full ONIX record from BiblioShare.

Please Note:

  • The record is in XML/ONIX format, so in order to use it in your application you will need to retrieve the record and manipulate it, or do something fancy with XSLT.
  • The data in the record is very much as the publisher/distributor supplied it to us. We do some standardization of the content, and we may do some merging of information from multiple sources, but we do not manipulate records.
  • If we don't have a record in BiblioShare, you will get a message indicating this.

BiblioSimple Web Service

The BiblioSimple Web Service returns a 'thinner' version of the ONIX record, for sites that don't need the full record. It is designed for display purposes, so things like multiple contributor names will be grouped into one tag. It includes the basics: title, contributor names, format, publication date, price, etc.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us (see below).
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
  3. This will deliver a 'thin' or simplified bibliographic data based on the full ONIX record.

Please Note:

  • The record is in XML format, so to use it in your application you will need to retrieve the record and manipulate it, or do something fancy with XSLT.
  • If we don't have a record in BiblioShare, you will get a message indicating this.
  • The fields present in a BiblioSimple response are:

Cover Image Web Service

The Cover Image Web Service gives you full access to the most current covers available for books in the Canadian market. A thumbnail version of the cover or the full-sized image (or both) can be pulled, depending on what publishers have made available. This web service is for you if you're looking for cover images, simple as that.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us. (see below)
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
    • https://www.biblioshare.org/BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/Images?Token=string&EAN=string&SAN=string&Thumbnail=string
    • EAN = The item you are looking for a cover image of. Without hyphens. 13 digits, likely starting with 978, or perhaps 979. 
    • SAN = The SAN of the supplier. Note: In almost all cases this should be left empty. If this is the case, remove "string" so your URL reads ...&SAN=&Thumbnail.
    • Thumbnail = True/False. This is fairly self-explanatory, but 'True' returns an 140px by Y thumbnail of the image and 'False' returns the full-size image as supplied by the publisher.
  3. Insert the above into an HTML image tag (i.e. <img src ="https://www.biblioshare.org//BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/Images?Token=...">) and publish it. You could also script something to build these links automagically.
  4. If we don't have an image for the specified item, we will return a placeholder image (120px by 120px).

Back Cover Image Web Service

The Back Cover Image Web Service gives you full access to the most current back cover available for books in the Canadian market. A thumbnail version of the back cover or the full-sized image (or both) can be pulled, depending on what publishers have made available. This web service is for you if you're looking for back cover images.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us. (see below)
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
  3. Insert the above into an HTML image tag (i.e. <img src ="https://www.biblioshare.org//BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/Images?Token=...">) and publish it. You could also script something to build these links automagically.
  4. If we don't have an image for the specified item, we will return a placeholder image (120px by 120px).

Interior Image Service

The Interior Image Web Service gives you full access to the most current interior images available for books in the Canadian market. A thumbnail version of the interior or the full-sized image (or both) can be pulled, depending on what publishers have made available. This web service is for you if you're looking for interior images, simple as that.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us. (see below)
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
    • https://www.biblioshare.org/bncServices/BNCServices.asmx/DetailImages?token=string&san=string&ean=string&thumbnail=yes&Perspective=interior&FileNumber=int&maxWidth=&maxHeight=
    • Token = Your user token
    • EAN = The item you are looking for a cover image of. Without hyphens. 13 digits, likely starting with 978, or perhaps 979. 
    • SAN = The SAN of the supplier. Note: In almost all cases this should be left empty. If this is the case, remove "string" so your URL reads ...&SAN=&Thumbnail. 
    • Thumbnail = True/False. This is fairly self-explanatory, but 'True' returns a 140px by Y thumbnail of the image and 'False' returns the full-size image as supplied by the publisher.
    • Perspective = Interior. This indicates the type of image you are pulling back.
    • FileNumber = integer. This will pull back the sequence number of the interior image as indicated by the image provider in the file name.
  3. Insert the above into an HTML image tag (i.e. <img src ="https://www.biblioshare.org//BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/DetailImages?Token=...">) and publish it. You could also script something to build these links automagically.
  4. If we don't have an image for the specified item, we will return a placeholder image (120px by 120px).

Author Photo Image Service

The Author Photo Image Service gives you full access to the most current author images available for books in the Canadian market. A thumbnail version of the interior or the full-sized image (or both) can be pulled, depending on what publishers have made available. This web service is for you if you're looking for author images, simple as that.

How do you use it?

  1. Get a token from us. (see below)
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this:
    • https://www.biblioshare.org/bncServics/BNCServices.asmx/DetailImages?Token=string&EAN=string&SAN=&Thumbnail=false&Perspective=author&FileNumber=&maxWidth=&maxHeight=
    • Token = Your user token
    • EAN = The item you are looking for a cover image of. Without hyphens. 13 digits, likely starting with 978, or perhaps 979. 
    • SAN = The SAN of the supplier. Note: In almost all cases this should be left empty and has been set up so in the example. 
    • Thumbnail = True/False. This is fairly self-explanatory, but 'True' returns a 140px by Y thumbnail of the image and 'False' returns the full size image as supplied by the publisher.  The URL was set up for "false".
    • Perspective = Author. This indicates the type of image you are pulling back.
    • FileNumber = integer. This will pull back the sequence number of the author image as indicated by the image provider in the file name.
  3. Insert the above into an HTML image tag (i.e. <img src ="https://www.biblioshare.org//BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/DetailImages?Token=...">) and publish it. You could also script something to build these links automagically.
  4. If we don't have an image for the specified item, we will return a placeholder image (120px by 120px).

Image Info Service

The Image Info Service provides details on specific images in our repository, without actually acquiring the image.

  1. You can use the following query to see if we have a specific image, and if so when it was last updated:
  2. If we have an image that matches the EAN provided, we will return a document that contains the following information:
    • EAN
    • Perspective = 'cover' or 'interior' 
    • File size
    • Width
    • Height
    • File type/extension
    • Date/Time of last update

If we don't have an image, we will return a message indicating this.

    • The message will either read "No Image Available," or "Invalid Login" (if your token is bad).

Image List Service

The Image List Service provides details on all images associated with an EAN in our repository, without actually acquiring the image.

  1. You can use the following query to see if we have a specific image, and if so when it was last updated:
  2. If we have an image that matches the EAN provided, we will return a document that contains the following information:
    • EAN
    • Perspective
    • File size
    • Width
    • Height
    • File type/extension
    • Date/Time of last update
    • File Number

If we don't have an image, we will return a message indicating this.

    • The message will either read "No Image Available," or "Invalid Login" (if your token is bad).

BISH Assets: 

Returns a list of all assets held in BiblioShare regarding an isbn including: 

  • ONIX 2.1 record
  • ONIX 3.0 record
  • Images (cover, interiors, author etc.)
  • Position (price and stock position)
  • Samples (excerpts, samples, readers guides, teachers guides)
  1. Get a token from us by filling out this quick form.
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this: 

https://www.biblioshare.org/BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/BishAssets?Token=string&EAN=string

  • Token = Your user token
  • EAN = The item you are looking for a sample of. Without hyphens. 13 digits, likely starting with 978, or perhaps 979. 


ISBNs for Assets:

Returns a list of all ISBNs held in BiblioShare for a given asset including:

  • Teachers Guide
  • Guide
  • Author Photo
  • Sample
  • Excerpt
  • Table Of Contents

How to retrieve a list of isbns that have accompanying  Author photos, Back covers, Samples, Excerpt, TOC, Guides or  Teacher's guides:

  1. Get a token from us by filling out this quick form.
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN and the asset as part of a URL. The queries should look like these:

https://biblioshare.ca/bncservices/BNCServices.asmx/ISBNForAsset?Token=string&Asset=string&asText=

  • Token = your user token
  • Asset = the item for which you're requesting data.  (author|back|sample|excerpt|teachersguide|guide|toc)
  • asText = use "TRUE" to view as text in browser or "FALSE" to retrieve a file


Sample Web Service

The Sample Web Service allows users to pull epubs or pdf files for a title available in the Canadian market.

How to retrieve a Sample, Excerpt, TOC, or Guide (including teacher's guides):

  1. Get a token from us by filling out this quick form.
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this: 

https://www.biblioshare.ca/BNCServices/BNCServices.asmx/Samples?token=string&ean=string&san=string&perspective=string&filenumber=

    • Token = Your user token
    • EAN = The item you are looking for a sample of. Without hyphens. 13 digits, likely starting with 978, or perhaps 979. 
    • SAN = The SAN of the supplier. Note: In almost all cases this should be left empty. If this is the case, remove "string" so it reads ...&san=&perspective=
    • Perspective = Sample, Excerpt, TOC , Guide or Teachersguide. This indicates the type of sample you are pulling down.
    • FileNumber = integer. This will pull back the sequence number of the sample if there is more then one.

MARC Record Web Service

The MARC Record Web Service allows libraries to pull a full or brief MARC record for a title available in the Canadian market, which you can either download in MARC21 format or view as text.

For full MARC records:

We have used the comprehensive mapping developed by the OCLC to fuel our ONIX-to-MARC service. You can view their detailed guide (PDF) or download the ONIX-MARC Crosswalk spreadsheet directly.

How to retrieve a full MARC record:

  1. Get a token from us by filling out this quick form.
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this: https://www.biblioshare.ca/bncservices/BNCMarc.asmx/MARCRecord?token=&ean=&asText=
    • token = your user token
    • EAN = the item for which you're requesting data (without hyphens and including 13 digits, likely starting with 978 or perhaps 979)
    • asText = use "TRUE" to view as text or "FALSE" to retrieve the record in MARC21 format
  3. This will deliver a full MARC record from BiblioShare.

For brief MARC records:

We provide a very thin MARC record for systems that only require a brief record from which to start building. The following brief MARC record shows the output for the readable, text-type format. (Canadian price is returned in the 020 [ c ]  field, while Title and Subtitle are returned in the 245 10  [ a ] and [ b ] fields, respectively.)  

example:
LDR 00292nam  22001093  4500
005     20151222104953.1
008     151222s2015    xx      |    |||| ||   ||
020    [a]: 9781250101198 (BC)
       [c]: $18.5
100 1  [a]: Punke, Michael
245 10 [a]: The Revenant
       [b]: A Novel of Revenge
260    [b]: Picador
       [c]: 2015
970    [f]: xxx.0000
       [l]: XX
       [q]: 0

How to retrieve a brief MARC record:

  1. Get a token from us by filling out this quick form.
  2. Specify an ISBN-13/EAN as part of a URL. The query should look like this: https://www.biblioshare.net/bncservices/BNCMarc.asmx/MARCStub?token=&ean=&asText=
    • token = your user token
    • EAN = the item for which you're requesting data (without hyphens and including 13 digits, likely starting with 978 or perhaps 979)
    • asText = use "TRUE" to view as text or "FALSE" to retrieve the record in MARC21 format
  3. This will deliver a brief MARC record from BiblioShare.

Please note:

  • If you retrieve the record in MARC21 format, you will need to manipulate it for use in your application.
  • The data in the record is very much as the publisher/distributor supplied it to us. We do some standardization of the content and we may do some merging of information from multiple sources, but we do not manipulate records.
  • If we don't have a record in BiblioShare, you will get a message indicating this.

User Tokens:

You need to apply for a user/developer token before you can use the service. Why? The token allows us to keep an eye on our server traffic. It also helps us troubleshoot any problems that might come up.

To apply for a token, all you need to do is fill out this form. We will get back to you as soon as we can with a token. NOTE: Not every token is enabled for every web service, so please be specific in your request.

Terms of Service for Web Services:

In order to use the BNC BiblioShare Web Services, you agree to:

  • Not pound the servers. We would prefer that you cache the data if you expect a lot of traffic. If you are using an automated routine to get the data, please hit us no more than once every few seconds.
  • Not use the API to harvest or index BNC BiblioShare data without our explicit written consent.
  • Not sublicense or redistribute BNC BiblioShare data to any third parties.
  • Not modify or change BNC BiblioShare data, including reviews, in any way without BNC consent. Content may be truncated for display purposes.
  • Not use the BNC BiblioShare data as part of a commercial product without our explicit written consent. If you would like to include BiblioShare data in a commercial product, please contact us.
  • Acknowledge that your user token can be suspended for any infraction of these terms.
  • Acknowledge that these terms may be updated or amended at any time without prior notice, and that your continued use of the API constitutes your acceptance of the new terms.
  • Attribution is not required, but we would like to be mentioned somewhere if possible: "Data provided by BNC BiblioShare."

Notes:

  • We are logging things so that we can both troubleshoot errors and monitor usage.
  • Please be careful using the services. This is 'beta' type stuff. We are using it in our products and will continue to do so, but we would recommend testing things and talking to us before building a big online portal using this service.
  • Our focus is on the Canadian English language trade market. 
  • We "only" have about 3,400,000 unique bibliographic records and over 2,600,000 cover images at this time. But we are continually getting more, so if it is not there now it could be soon.