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WorldCat database reaches 2 billion holdings and
300 million bibliographic records


2 billion holdings

WorldCat the most comprehensive online database of resources available through libraries around the world, has reached another major milestone with the addition of its 2 billionth holding.

The 2 billionth holding set in WorldCat was for the University of Alberta Libraries, in Edmonton, Canada.  The significant holding was the e-book titled: Evaluation of the City of Lakes Family Health Team Patient Portal Pilot Project: Final Report, published in 2012 by the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research.

WorldCat is a database of bibliographic information created and continuously updated by some 25,000 OCLC member libraries around the world. WorldCat records describe specific works and contain a listing of institutions that own an item, referred to as "holdings." Institutions use holdings information to create local catalogues, arrange interlibrary loans and conduct reference work.

WorldCat was created in 1971 so that libraries could share cataloguing information from a central database, increasing workflow efficiency and the ability to locate and loan materials. It took the OCLC cooperative almost 34 years, from August 26, 1971 to August 11, 2005, to add 1 billion holdings in WorldCat. It has taken just seven years and eight months to add the next billion holdings.

Full press release

300 million bibliographic records

Only one month after the announcement of the 2 billionth holding, OCLC has also announced that the WorldCat database had reached the 300 millionth bibliographic record mark. 

The 300 millionth record describes an article, "Wirtschaftsrecht im Internet" ("Business Law for the Internet") from the publication Betriebs Berater. The record was created on 7th  June, 2013, and was contributed by the European Commission Central Library.

The record was added as part of the library’s first retrospective batchload effort. This single institution load resulted in a total of 475,869 holdings being set, and 301,991 new bibliographic records being added. Reflecting the increasingly global nature of WorldCat, the record describes an article in a German journal with subject cataloguing in French.

Full announcement

OCLC member institutions use a variety of specific services to add, enhance and access WorldCat records, improving workflows and helping libraries save time and money. Anyone can search these collections at users can find nearby libraries that hold an item, build personalised lists, easily create citations and post reviews and ratings.

Find more about WorldCat on the OCLC website, and watch WorldCat grow as libraries around the world contribute to the database.