WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 72,000
libraries in 170 countries and territories that participate in the
Online Computer Library Center
Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative. It is
OCLC Online Computer
Library Center, Inc. The
subscribing member libraries collectively maintain WorldCat's
database, the world's largest bibliographic database.
WorldCat itself available free to libraries, but the catalog is the
foundation for other subscription
OCLC services (such as resource
sharing and collection management).
3 See also
5 Further reading
6 External links
OCLC was founded in 1967 under the leadership of Fred Kilgour. That
OCLC began to develop the union catalog technology that
would later evolve into WorldCat; the first catalog records were added
OCLC began the "Open WorldCat" pilot program, making
abbreviated records from a subset of
WorldCat available to partner web
sites and booksellers, to increase the accessibility of its
subscribing member libraries' collections. In 2006, it became possible
WorldCat directly at its website. In 2007, WorldCat
Identities began providing pages for 20 million "identities",
predominantly authors and persons who are the subjects of published
As of December 2017,
WorldCat contains over 400 million bibliographic
records in 491 languages, representing over 2.6 billion physical and
digital library assets, and the
WorldCat persons dataset (mined
from WorldCat) includes over 100 million people.
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WorldCat operates on a batch processing model rather than a real-time
model. That is,
WorldCat records are synchronized at intermittent
intervals with the underlying library catalogs instead of real-time or
every day. Consequently:
WorldCat shows that a particular item is owned by a particular library
but does not provide that library's call number.
WorldCat does not indicate whether or not an item is currently
borrowed, lost, undergoing restoration or repair, or moved to storage
not directly accessible to patrons (thereby forcing interested patrons
to submit a retrieval request and wait).
WorldCat does not show whether or not a library owns
multiple copies of a particular title.
As an alternative,
WorldCat allows participating institutions to add
direct links from
WorldCat to their own catalog entries for a
particular item, which enables the user to determine its real-time
status. However, this still requires users to open multiple Web
pages, each pointing to a different OPAC with its own distinctive user
interface design (which places item status in a different portion of
the Web browser display), until they can locate a catalog entry that
shows the item is currently available at a particular library.
Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST)
Library and Archives Canada
Research Libraries UK
^ "Search for library items". WorldCat. Online Computer Library
Center. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
^ "WorldCat.org WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS.
^ a b "Inside WorldCat". Online Computer
Library Center. Retrieved
February 11, 2018.
^ a b "What is WorldCat?". worldcat.org. Retrieved 13 February
^ a b
Margalit Fox (August 2, 2006). "Frederick G. Kilgour, Innovative
Librarian, Dies at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
Frederick G. Kilgour, a distinguished librarian who nearly 40 years
ago transformed a consortium of Ohio libraries into what is now the
largest library cooperative in the world, making the catalogs of
thousands of libraries around the globe instantly accessible to
far-flung patrons, died on Monday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was
^ "A brief history of WorldCat". oclc.org. February 10, 2015.
Retrieved February 13, 2014.
^ Hickey, Thomas B. (15 April 2007). "
WorldCat Identities: Another
View of the Catalog" (PDF). NextSpace.
OCLC (6): 18–19.
ISSN 1559-0011. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
^ "Data strategy [WorldCat]". oclc.org. Retrieved 11 February
Blackman, Cathy; Moore, Erica Rae; Seikel, Michele; Smith, Mandi (July
WorldCat and SkyRiver: a comparison of record quantity and
Library Resources & Technical Services. 58 (3):
Breeding, Marshall (May 2015). "
Library services platforms: a maturing
genre of products".
Library Technology Reports. 51 (4): 1–38.
Matthews, Joseph R. (July 2016). "An environmental scan of OCLC
alternatives: a management perspective". Public
Library Quarterly. 35
(3): 175–187. doi:10.1080/01616846.2016.1210440.
McKenzie, Elizabeth (January 2012).
OCLC changes its rules for use of
records in WorldCat: library community pushback through blogs and
cultures of resistance (Technical report). Boston: Suffolk University
Law School. Research paper 12-06.
Wilson, Kristen (August 2016). "The knowledge base at the center of
Library Technology Reports. 52 (6): 1–35.
Official website (Mobile)
OCLC - "Web scale" discovery and delivery of library resources
OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards