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WorldCat Registry at a glance

OCLC's WorldCat Registry is a free Web tool that provides a single location from which any library can view data that describes its institutional identity and services, and update it in OCLC Service Configuration. Free Web services available through the WorldCat Affiliate site distribute Registry data across the Web, enhancing Web discovery of libraries' rich content and services.


For all libraries inside and outside the OCLC cooperative:

  • Reduces redundant staff effort and eliminates need to update library identities across numerous applications
  • Centralizes information sharing and ensures data currency for technology vendors, electronic content or service providers, fellow consortium institutions, funding agencies and other bodies with which libraries maintain relationships
  • Shared data allows library service providers to better support continuity and quality of their services
  • Automate vendor interactions such as the activation or renewal of a subscription information service, reducing the chance that such services will "go dark" when internal system parameters such as IP addresses change
  • Information seekers at search engines and other Web sites enjoy a streamlined linking experience from search results with bibliographic data to OpenURL-based content at your library via the OpenURL Gateway (see Features, below)

For consortia:

  • Create a master consortium profile that is always up-to-date and is easily and securely referenced by content providers, other vendors and member institutions
  • Keep electronic service data applicable to the entire group (such as IP addresses, shared catalogs and OpenURL servers) in one place
  • Associate members' individual Registry profiles with the group's, and see status of members' profiles at a glance

For WorldCat-participating libraries:

  • Get greater Internet visibility for your collections and electronic services. Profile data is distributed on; through partner programs to popular search sites such as Google and Yahoo!; and via a variety of freely distributed WorldCat linking syntaxes, software widgets and Web services


  • Easy-to-use Web interface that allows authorized library personnel to view data about their library, including: identifying codes assigned by various standards or industry organizations; details about physical location, contacts, Web sites and electronic services; hierarchical relationships such as parent consortia or child branches; and administrative and statistical data concerning staff, service usage and user population
  • Many institutional profiles have been automatically created and pre-populated with information already known to OCLC or from other sources maintained by the worldwide library community.
  • Downloading of Registry profile as XML file to a local/network location for importation into spreadsheet software and offline maintenance and review
  • Sharing of profile data by "obfuscated" (encoded) Web hyperlinks. Library staff can send links to designated parties at any time via the Registry's embedded e-mail facility; link recipients view profile data as a read-only Web page or XML
  • Profile data related to OpenURL services is automatically utilized by OCLC's OpenURL Gateway. This institution-independent resolving service directs link traffic to an appropriate library resource when the information seeker's IP address matches your Registry-specified address or address range


  • Internet connection
  • Current-generation Web browser

Related services

Data in the WorldCat Registry is surfaced in:

  • traffic partner applications
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • WorldCat Local
  • OpenURL Gateway