February 25, 2018

OCLC Expanding WorldCat's European Records

By Josh Hadro

New agreements increase visibility of European collections, offer OCLC more holdings data

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On August 25, OCLC announced deals with a number of European national libraries and other institutions to broaden WorldCat’s access to international metadata.

Included in the announcement:

  • Denmark: OCLC will get access to the holdings in the Danish National Union Catalog with the help of the Dansk BibliotekCenter, covering approximately 10 million Danish records. Additionally, “a connection between WorldCat.org and bibliotek.dk will be orchestrated.”
  • Switzerland: Five consortia will load their contents into WorldCat, covering roughly 10 million records and 16 million holdings.
  • Slovenia: Three million records will be loaded from IZUM, covering “380 academic, public, and other libraries.”
  • Israel: the MALMAD consortium, with more than 30 academic institutions, will load its records and holdings data into WorldCat to increase the visibility of these records.

As OCLC has maintained for many years, it sees its role as the central hub for bibliographic metadata, ideally a kind of switchboard connecting end users to institutions worldwide with holdings relevant to their needs. It contends that this increases the visibility of member libraries and those with which it has metadata sharing agreements. 

In return, OCLC gains access to an unparalleled, and increasingly international, collection of information about the world’s bibliographic output, and how that output maps to library collections held worldwide.

Range of holdings
To date, WorldCat includes records from 112 countries and territories, representing some 71,000 libraries. Of those, 34 are national libraries covering 76.2 million holdings. 

See OCLC’s "Map of National Libraries in WorldCat" for a look at some of the largest international contributors of metadata, and a summary of their holdings that appear in WorldCat.

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