Alexandria is a GNOME application for managing collections of books.

Alexandria is written in Ruby, and is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later. See the file COPYING for more information.

What is Alexandria?

Alexandria is an application for managing a personal book library. Its main recommending feature is its clean, intuitive interface. Alexandria is able to retrieve book information and cover images from a wide variety of online data sources. It also features extensive import and export options, a loan interface, and smart libraries. Alexandria is written in Ruby using ruby-gnome2.

Where can I get it?

You can install alexandria as a gem by running

gem install alexandria-book-collection-manager

Alternatively, download the source from the github repository at and follow the installation instructions.

Where can I find out more?

For source code and bug reporting, see the repository on github at


Alexandria is a simple program designed to allow individuals to keep a catalogue of their book collection. In addition, it enables users to keep track of books which are on loan.

  • retrieves and displays book information (sometimes with cover pictures) from several online libraries and bookshops, such as
    • WorldCat
    • US Library of Congress
    • British Library
  • allows books to be added and updated by hand
  • enables searches either by ISBN, title, author or keyword
  • supports the Z39.50 standard and allow you to manage your own sources (e.g. university libraries)
  • saves data using the plain-text YAML format
  • can import and export data into ONIX, Tellico, ISBN-list and GoodReads CSV formats
  • can export XHTML web pages of your libraries, themable with CSS
  • allows marking your books as loaned, each with the loan-date and the name of the person who has borrowed them
  • features a HIG-compliant user interface
  • shows books in different views (standard list or icons list), that can be filtered and/or sorted
  • handles book rating and notes
  • supports CueCat and standard "keyboard wedge" barcode readers
  • includes translations for several languages
  • is documented in a complete manual (at the moment only in English and Japanese)

Alexandria is not without problems. See doc/BUGS for a summary of issues.


There are full instructions for installing Alexandria from source in the file INSTALL, including information about all the dependencies.

If you are installing on a Debian-based system, things should be easier as the dependencies can be handled automatically.

To run the program, just type alexandria or, to get verbose debugging information, alexandria --debug

If you are running GNOME, Alexandria should appear under the 'Applications > Office' menu.


The following people have contributed to Alexandria over the years:





Former translators


Unless otherwise noted, the following license applies to all files that are part of Alexandria:

Copyright (C) 2004 Laurent Sansonetti Copyright (C) 2005-2010,2014-2020 Alexandria Contributors

Alexandria is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. See the file COPYING for details.