What is Wikibase?

Wikibase is the free and customizable knowledge base that drives Wikidata. It is well suited for setting up data archives that interoperate with the semantic web via open standards. Increasingly, it is gaining interest among  GLAM institutions, research communities and open knowledge advocates.

What is Wikibase?

What are the benefits?

Publish and connect

Publish your data using standards and gain interoperability

The robust data export options include RDF, N3, JSON, XML and more—and it provides a powerful SPARQL query interface that supports federated queries. Gain interoperability with Wikidata or other parts of the semantic web. Comply with the FAIR data principles to the degree it suits you.

What is Wikibase?

Flexible and granular data model

Wikibase allows you to model your domain via its flexible data model

Import or evolve your own ontology. The Wikibase data model allows you to define your own properties and choose which statements you add to items. Enjoy native support for multilingual data, multiple and historical values, qualifiers and ranks, all accessible via an interactive JavaScript editing interface.

What is Wikibase?

Transparent and traceable

Be precise about sources and track where data comes from

Wikibase supports provenance information on a statement level. Changes to statements can also be tracked over time via a full version history.

What is Wikibase?

Control your own data

Avoid the restrictions of Wikidata by using your own Wikibase

Use your own license and restrict editing and access in line with your organization’s needs. Wikibase is built on top of MediaWiki, the standard wiki software for collaborative editing and knowledge sharing. This gives you access to MediaWikis permission system, review and approval workflows, notification systems and more, all for your structured data.

What is Wikibase?

Open Source

Avoid vendor lock-in and benefit from the open ecosystem

Mediabase and MediaWiki are open source software. MediaWiki is used by 1000s of organizations and is developed by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation for Wikipedia. There are 100s of MediaWiki extensions and tools that are freely available. Use the community for support or participate and help shape the future of the software.

What is Wikibase?

Who uses Wikibase?

What is Wikibase?


Wikibase powers Wikidata, the free knowledge base that anyone can edit. Wikidata has over 1 billion edits by 4 million users to over 90 million pages containing over 1 billion statements.



Wikipedia needs no introduction. Wikibase is used by Wikipedia to pull data from Wikidata and display it on wiki pages. It increases consistency, availability and maintainability of Wikipedias data.

GLAM - galleries, libraries, archives, and museums

Prominent cultural heritage institutions that wish to participate in the semantic web are using Wikibase.


German National Library

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) is adopting Wikibase for its Integrated Authority File (GND). The GND is used throughout German speaking countries and contains 8 million records on persons, corporate bodies, geographical names and more.

The DNB is especially keen on the transparency and traceability that it provides on a statement level via qualifiers, references and the edit history.

Flag of Luxembourg

Luxembourg Ministry of Culture

A competency network of 8 GLAM institutions are pursuing Wikibase for sharing authority information. They use the CIDOC-CRM ontology as a federation tool for data modelling and RDA-FR as normative rulebook for content.

Their focus areas include access rights, GDPR compliance, data monitoring and data/time information with uncertainty and imprecision.



Rhizome is a leading digital arts organization based in New York. They maintain the ArtBase, an archive of more than 2,000 born-digital works of art from the 1990s to the present day.

Rhizome have been using Wikibase as the main repository for the ArtBase since 2015 and have pioneered ways to engage with the data modeling and presentation of cultural data as linked open data; commissioning new extensions to the software and contributing actively to the community.


French National Library

Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education in France are building a new service for libraries and other GLAM institutions based on Wikibase.

The new shared service allows collaboratively creating and maintaining reference data.



The IFLA Wikidata Working Group was formed in late 2019 to explore and advocate for the use of and contribution to Wikidata by library and information professionals, the integration of Wikidata and Wikibase with library systems, and alignment of the Wikidata ontology with library metadata formats such as BIBFRAME, RDA, and MARC.



The Online Computer Library Center evaluated Wikibase together with 16 US based institutions. Their conclusions include that the precision of structured data exceeds that of contemporary library standards and that librarians can more easily see the results of their efforts without switching tools.

More Wikibase Examples

What is Wikibase?

What is Wikibase ?

Wikibase is an open-source software suite for collaboratively creating interoperable knowledge bases.

A powerful, flexible and customizable knowledge base software that drives Wikidata. With MediaWiki as its front end and a rich JavaScript interface for data management, it makes collaboration easy for humans and machines alike, and its data model prioritizes language independence and knowledge diversity.

Its robust data export options include JSON, RDF/XML, N3, YAML and more—and it provides a powerful SPARQL query interface that supports federated queries, extending the potential data available from a single node to thousands.

Frequently asked questions

questions about our services

Yes you can! Contact us now with details about your project.

While we like open source, we can accommodate the needs of our clients. We can also advise on if open source makes sense for your organization or project.

Wikibase is an Open Source project lead by Wikimedia Deutschland, which develops Wikibase primarily for Wikidata. Many tools part of the ecosystem are also open source and maintained by various individuals. This limits what we can promise to our clients, even though we are very familiar with the ecosystem, both from a technical and community point of view.

Our standard approach is to host Wikibase wikis for our customers on dedicated VPS in Germany. Other locations are possible on request, and we can set up and manage Wikibase on your own infrastructure if that is desired.

As of February 2022 we provide Wikibase 1.35 Long Term Support. On request we can also provide Wikibase 1.37.

questions about Wikibase

Wikidata is a free knowledge base with millions of items available at Wikidata.org. Wikibase is the software that powers Wikidata. While it was originally developed for Wikidata, it is a free and open source software, enabling everyone to create their own structured knowledge base.

Why your own Wikibase rather than using Wikidata? Wikidata requires all data to be submitted with a CC0 license, which is often not practical for institutions. It also has an open editing environment, which is not seen as a trustworthy repository for institutional knowledge.

Wikibase is popular in the GLAM sector, where it is seen as a tool for digital preservation of cultural heritage and creating a web of linked data with other institutions. For more details see the list of users on the Wikibase website.

We have created a comparison of data management solutions for MediaWiki and have helped several of our customers weigh the pros and cons of each software. Contact us if you need our expert input.

Start Your Wikibase Journey Today!

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