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British Library adds 12 Million Records to WorldCat

Press Release: OCLC [November 17, 2010]

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 17 November 2010—OCLC is pleased to announce that the British Library has added 12 million bibliographic records to WorldCat, the world's largest online resource for finding library materials.

OCLC staff worked closely with British Library staff to add the records over a four-month project. As a result of the cooperative effort, OCLC and the British Library have enhanced the process to add these valuable records to WorldCat for the benefit of researchers worldwide.

According to the British Library, WorldCat is an increasingly important resource used to expose its holdings worldwide, and for supporting a number of its core services including resource sharing and document delivery.

"We are delighted to be able to display the richness and diversity of the British Library's collections via WorldCat," said Neil Wilson, Head of Metadata Services, British Library. "Increasingly, users want to start their research by searching as many library resources as possible and WorldCat addresses this need. By making our resources visible via such systems we can greatly increase awareness of the Library's services and reach a far wider audience."

Prior to this latest data load, some 4.5 million British Library records had been added to WorldCat over the last 25 years. Not only has this volume now effectively tripled, but the quality and accuracy of the records has been significantly enhanced. Ongoing automated batch loads will further improve the quantity and quality of British Library records in WorldCat.

"OCLC is very proud of its relationship with the British Library," said Jay Jordan, President and CEO, OCLC. "The ongoing cooperation between this prestigious research institution and OCLC over the years continues to yield enormous benefits for library users and scholars around the world."

WorldCat is a database of bibliographic information built continuously by OCLC libraries around the world since 1971. Each record in the WorldCat database contains a bibliographic description of a single item or work and a list of institutions that hold the item. The institutions share these records, using them to create local catalogs, arrange interlibrary loans and conduct reference work. Libraries contribute records for items not found in WorldCat using the OCLC shared cataloging system.

Since 1971, 200 million records have been added to WorldCat, spanning more than 6,000 years of recorded knowledge, from about 4800 B.C. to the present. This unique store of information encompasses records in a variety of formats—books, e-books, serials, sound recordings, musical scores, maps, visual materials, mixed materials and computer files. Like the knowledge it describes, WorldCat grows steadily. Every second, library members add seven records to WorldCat.

Once records have been added to WorldCat, they are discoverable on the Web through popular search and partner sites, and through

The OCLC cooperative has a long tradition of working with national libraries around the world to facilitate shared cataloging, record exchange, digitization, resource sharing and document delivery. A map displaying national libraries with records in WorldCat is on the OCLC Web site.

About the British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is one of the world's major research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats: books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and much more. While it holds more items in total, its book collection is second only to the American Library of Congress. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial additional collections of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 300 BC.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 171 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalogue, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at For more information, visit the OCLC Web site.

View Citation
Publication Year:2010
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:November 17, 2010
Company: OCLC
Record Number:15226
Last Update:2022-04-30 18:27:26
Date Created:2010-11-21 07:48:12