The National Book Council would like to announce that the database containing all local books published under an ISBN has just been finalised. This database may be accessed free of charge from the NBC’s website.

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number allocated to every book in any format. The NBC is Malta’s official ISBN agent which means that the NBC is the exclusive distributor of ISBN locally.

The ISBN is important for several reasons – it brands the publication in question with an easily identifiable code that is unique to it, making it especially easy to track, identify and code from a commercial point of view. The NBC also uses ISBN for administrative purposes and holds the locally issued ISBN number as a principal criteria of eligibility for participation in the National Book Prize thus ensuring that whoever publishes locally, regardless of nationality or place of origin, is entitled to participate inthis prestigious prize.

The first recorded use of ISBN in Malta was Henry Grech’s for his publication Ilsien Pajjiżi: junior published in 1969, however the widespread use of ISBN by local publishers only came about in the nineties. Books without an ISBN are not listed in this database. Anyone interested in locating these books should consult the National Library lists.

One may search this database using any of the following fields: ISBN, title of book, author, publisher and/or date of publication.

Unfortunately, the NBC is still missing some information related to numbers allocated by previous administrations. These numbers are published in a list accessible to the public and whoever has any information relating to them is kindly asked to forward it to the NBC.


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