ISBNDb - ISBN Database

Description project is a database of books in different languages providing on-line and remote research tools for individuals, librarians, scientists, etc. ISBNDb takes data data from hundreds of libraries across the world.

Has historical book price data:


  • Access:
    • Data dump: no
    • Web API: yes
  • License: You are allowed (and encouraged) to access data for free via the web api but no explicit license is provided and it is not clear what level of use, reuse or redistribution would be permitted. Also would have concerns about data given that is sourced (via web-scraping) from elsewhere (see below for more details).

Conclusion: Semi-Open and awaiting clarification.

Data Sources


How do you get the data? gets the data in a unique way - it scans libraries all across the world for book information. The scanning is random and similar in a way to how general purpose web search engines scan web sites.

Scanned results are then parsed and stored in a searcheable and browseable database that you see here on An attempt is made at cross-indexing the database by author, publisher, category and so on. Cross indexing is still a work in progress and is likely to improve as the time goes on.

For each book you can see records received for it from different libraries, you can download original MARC record for the book as it was returned by the library.

Another interesting feature is 'Books on the Same Shelf' -- it allows to quickly look up similar books in the same way they would be placed in a real world library. Currently, two classification systems are supported -- Dewey Decimal Classification (trademark of OCLC) and Library of Congress Classification.

Starting late 2004 we also started scanning book merchants for best book prices. You will see best prices for new and used copies on all book pages below the left menu in most cases fraction of a second after you load the book data. Active and historic prices are also available through the data access API.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

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Last Updated October 10, 2013, 21:24 (UTC)
Created April 25, 2007, 17:02 (UTC)
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