The International ISBN Agency

Easily recognisable as the identifier for all kinds of books, the International Standard Book Number is key to an efficient and effective book supply chain.

The International ISBN Agency is the registration authority for the Standard on a global basis. 

Focus on

  • Gold 50 Anniversary logo

    In the book world, we’ve come to take International Standard Book Number (ISBN) - that 13 digit number found on the copyright page or back of a book - for granted. We may not need to understand how the number is made up, but we know it’s a number that identifies a book and that it somehow makes ordering and sales more accurate and efficient.

    In the 1960s publishers wanted to improve their efficiency and profitability, but how could they introduce automated order processing and inventory control systems, when the products could not be consistently and reliably identified? Giving...

  • Photograph of meeting delegates in front of the National Library building

    This year the ISBN regional meeting of the Balkan group took place in Sofia, Bulgaria on 12 and 13 May 2015. Our kind hosts were the National Library St. Cyril and St. Methodius, which runs the Bulgaria ISBN Agency.


    Delegates from the following agencies were present at the meeting:

    • Bulgaria
    • Croatia
    • Montenegro
    • Serbia
    • Republic of Srpska
    • Slovenia
    • International ISMN Agency
    • International ISBN Agency