• English

The OAIster® database

Millions of digital resources from thousands of contributors

OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open access resources that was built by harvesting from open access collections worldwide using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Today, OAIster includes more than 30 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,500 contributors.

Access to OAIster

A freely-accessible site for searching only OAIster records is available at Additionally, OAIster records are fully accessible through, and will be included in search results along with records from thousands of libraries worldwide. They will also continue to be available on the OCLC FirstSearch service to Base Package subscribers, providing another valuable access point for this rich database and a complement to other FirstSearch databases.

Contributing to OAIster

OAIster continues to grow and expand. In order to support ongoing expansion, OCLC has transitioned the OAIster database to being included in WorldCat and we are transitioning metadata harvesting to the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway beginning in July 2010. These changes offer several advantages for repository managers, including:

  • You can do self-service harvesting, which means you set your own harvest schedule and customize your metadata map for collections,
  • Your library's holdings can be set in WorldCat,
  • Your organization's unique collections receive maximum visibility via WorldCat and the WorldCat Gateway, which is available at no charge, and
  • Your metadata will be syndicated wherever WorldCat data is syndicated.

Additionally, building on the foundation of its success, OCLC is beginning to integrate OAIster with other open access digital resources. Our plan is to keep the freely-accessible OAIster site available during the transition and evolve it so that it encompasses even more open access materials.

To begin contributing your metadata, and to increase the Web visibility of your unique, open access materials, go to Getting Started with the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway.

A worldwide repository providing integrated access and increased visibility

As your library, archives, museum or and other cultural heritage organization continues to upload metadata through the Gateway, you are developing OAIster and WorldCat into a premier resource for the integrated discovery of open access, digital primary source materials. OCLC's goal is to provide the infrastructure, services and support to help maximize the visibility and integrated discovery of digital content worldwide.