BEACON link dump format

This repository contains drafts of the BEACON link dump format specification. BEACON is a data interchange format for large numbers of uniform links.

The format was developed to exchange mappings between authority files and resources incultural institutions but it can also serve as serialization format for RDF graphs with uniform triples.


Specification drafts are managed and published in a GitHub repository:

Earlier drafts had been developed in Wikipedia starting in February 2010:

Use cases


The implementations are not fully aligned with the current state of specification. Most applications don't use dedicated implementations because the format is simple enough to create/parse "by hand".

How to modify this specification

The specification of BEACON link dump format is being prepared in a public git repository, located at It uses the technique described in RFC 7328.

The specification is written in Pandoc Markdown syntax in the file Additional parts are included in the file, rfctemplate.xml, and bibliographic references in the directory ref. To compile the specification in RFC style there is a Makefile. To create a snapshot in HTML and TXT format you need:

To install at Ubuntu Linux with Python, call:

sudo apt-get install pandoc xsltproc xml2rfc
sudo pip install xml2rfc

To further install pandoc2rfc after cloning the repository you must call:

git submodule update --init

You can then modify,, rfctemplate.xml and create a nice HTML version by simply invoking make.