I am looking for a free dataset of book titles:

  • Classified by Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) or by Library of Congress Classification (LCC).
  • Wide coverage. I've seen Researcher Format (CSV) datasets at British Library: https://www.bl.uk/collection-metadata/downloads, but they contain only themed (very specific) samples of books. I would like to have a wide variety of DDC categories covered.
  • Ready to download as dump. I know there are API endpoints (SPARQL) to their resources but before jumping to this kind of task I would like to make sure such a dataset does not exist.
  • With titles in English.

1 Answer 1


I think you may be underestimating the BL dataset - the "researcher-format" CSVs are small themed sets of papers, but the ones just above it on that page include the British National Bibliography (BNB). 2GB fully linked RDF/XML for books, or a smaller 1GB file with less detailed RDF/XML.

The BNB is (more or less) every book published in the UK and Ireland since 1950 - if they have made it to one of the UK or Irish legal deposit libraries, they will be indexed here (some general exceptions).

The sample file for the basic BNB dataset appears to have 2958 titles and 2828 have a Dewey code assigned, so it looks like coverage is pretty good. Almost everything will be English-titled given the origins - I think all the records in the sample are? - but there is a language field so you can screen out non-English material.

(The Integrated Catalogue files is non-BNB material held by the BL, primarily overseas and historic books, and generally speaking these are less likely to have Dewey numbers assigned and also substantially more likely to be non-English language.)

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