Denver Public Library Data Pilot Release

A few months ago I mentioned my big work project of the moment, Libhub. We had done an experiment with a selected dozen or so catalogued items held by Denver Public Library, related to Molly Brown. The experiment was a success beyond our expectations. Within three days the alpha Libhub page for 'Margaret "Molly" Tobin Brown Papers' shot from nowhere to a top 3 hit on Google and Bing for the search "molly brown papers," a likely search string by someone interested in that topic, but not necessarily having any library in mind. This page links and on-delay redirects to the DPL catalog page for that item, and within another week that DPL catalog page had become the #1 hit for most cases of searching that target term. We were pleased to see examples of records from the test set which were appearing above Amazon book sales pages in search results. This validated our feeling that the content hidden in library catalogues is enormously rich and valuable.

Today we have taken the next, exciting step by publishing all 840,000 or so DPL bibliographic records. The result is around 3,740,000 resources, each of which is a separate Web page, with dense cross-linking (7,880,000 in all) derived from relationships within the MARC. Here are a few interesting highlights.