United States

  • English

Set or update holdings

You may send files of records for batch processing for many reasons, for example:

  • New OCLC members can send copies of their local database to OCLC to set holdings symbols for resource sharing purposes
  • You may have a collection of old bibliographic records that you'd like to update
  • You prefer to catalog using your local system and submit holdings to OCLC to fulfill your membership commitments

Types of projects

Retrospective projects

You can submit files of your entire local system database or any subset for batch processing. Once the initial processing is completed, you can maintain your holdings online through OCLC Connexion, or choose to continue batch processing on an ongoing basis. This type of project is most common for new OCLC members who want to set holdings in WorldCat for interlibrary loan, union list or reference purposes.

Ongoing projects

If you do not want to maintain your holdings online through OCLC Connexion, you can submit files to OCLC for batch processing on an ongoing basis to support your OCLC membership. When a matching record is found in WorldCat, OCLC sets or cancels holdings according to the record status code (Leader byte 5) in each record. If you cannot identify cancel holding transactions within each record, you can submit files for cancel holdings processing separately.

Group projects

Batch processing for groups is similar to that for single institutions with some distinct differences. Your group can submit files of consolidated records; that is, a single file of records representing multiple institutions. The records must contain library identifiers within the bibliographic records themselves. You complete a translation table that lists the library identifiers and the corresponding OCLC institution symbol that is to be set (or canceled) during batch processing (see more details in the Library Identifiers for Group Bibliographic Batchload Orders quick reference).

If you request OCLC MARC record output with your group project, a copy of the matching OCLC MARC record is created for each institution for which holdings are set on a record. For example, one record containing three library identifiers sets three holdings, and three copies of that same matching OCLC record are included in the resulting file.

Reclamation project

If your library's holdings have not been consistently maintained in WorldCat, it may be difficult for your staff to identify which records need to have holdings set or canceled. A reclamation project may be the easiest way to synchronize your holdings in WorldCat with the holdings in your local system. This type of project is a one-time solution.

In a reclamation project, you send the records from your local system for which you want holdings set. After batch processing is complete, any holdings not updated by this process are deleted from WorldCat. This is done in a separate process called a Scan/Delete and is based on a Date Stamp (typically the date on which you extract your records to submit them to OCLC). A scan is done on WorldCat, looking for your holdings symbol. When your symbol is found and the Set Holdings Date Stamp is earlier than the Date Stamp agreed upon, your holdings symbol is removed. Any holdings set on or after the Date Stamp date will remain set on the record in WorldCat.


To order a batchload project for setting or updating holdings, go to the Online Service Center (OSC). Log on or set up an account and navigate to the Bibliographic Batchload Order form. See the Batchload Solutions for Bibliographic Records Quick Reference for more about project types and how to order them. See detailed instructions for ordering in chapter 3 of the Batch Services User Guide. If you have questions, please contact OCLC Customer Support at support@oclc.org.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »