OCLC PICA was formed in January 2002 by the integration of Pica BV and OCLC Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a division of OCLC Inc. in Dublin (Ohio, US).
Pica was founded in 1969 as a cooperative library membership organization with the aim of automating the cataloguing activities of the participating academic libraries. In 1986 Pica became an independent legal body called the Stichting Centre for Library Automation, Pica.
Since the beginning of the nineties, Pica has concentrated on the following two main activities: automating libraries and developing online information services to end-users. In addition, the integrated Pica infrastructure has been sold to Germany and France. In 1996 the articles of association of the Foundation were changed to the Stichting Pica. In 1999 the activities of the Stichting Pica were split off and placed in a Dutch limited liability company known as Pica BV. Currently the majority of the OCLC PICA shares are held by OCLC Inc with the remaining shares being held by the Stichting Pica.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, headquartered in Dublin, Ohio is a nonprofit organization that provides computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing and preservation services to 41,000 libraries in 82 countries and territories. OCLC was founded in 1967 to improve access to the world's information and reduce information costs, and conducts ongoing research to develop technologies to support that mission. OCLC Europe was established in Birmingham, UK in 1981 as a division of OCLC Inc. In 1998 the name was changed to OCLC Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
OCLC PICA has regional offices in Leiden, the Netherlands; Birmingham, UK and Paris, France. The Leiden office serves libraries in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The Birmingham office serves libraries in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Southern Africa. The Paris office serves libraries in France and the Mediterranean countries from Portugal in the west to Israel and Turkey in the east.
The headquarters of OCLC PICA are in Leiden which is also the location of the central administration and the Information Technology Centre (ITC).
OCLC PICA employs more than 100 staff: about 70 work in product development and product support; approximately 20 work in sales and marketing and 25 carry out administrative functions. OCLC Inc employs around 1,000 staff.
OCLC Inc hosts WorldCat the world's largest online union catalogue containing approximately 50 million bibliographic records and 850 million holdings. OCLC PICA hosts the Dutch Union Catalogue containing about 14.5 million bibliographic records and 20 million holdings. OCLC PICA central systems are used to host the following union catalogues: Système universitaire (SUDOC) (France); GBV (Germany) and HEBIS (Germany). The Zeitschriftendatenbank (The German serials union catalogue) is also mounted on a PICA central system located at Die Deutsche Bibliothek.
OCLC PICA has sold around 100 local library systems and provides on-going support to these. OCLC and OCLC PICA also provide end user reference services, portal management services, online cataloguing and interlending systems, retrospective conversion and authority control services, digital preservation services and tools, virtual reference, eBook and collection analysis services. OCLC Inc is also the owner of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
OCLC PICA bv is registered at the Chamber of Commerce Rijnland in Leiden (no. 28083526)