WorldCat Identity Resource

URLs and Supported Requests

The Identity Resource supports five operations.

Operation Resource URL HTTP METHOD
Read{lccn_number} GET
Search{simpleQuery} GET
SRUSearch{cqlQuery} GET
Resolve{lastName}&rft_id=info:oclcnum/{oclcNumber} GET
AutoSuggest{name}&callback={callBackFunctionName} GET

Response Formats








Name Definition
FullName Full Name associated with Identity


Name Definition
query A CQL query being sent to the SRU server

The format to retrieve the response in

  • application/xhtml+xml
  • application/xml


Name Definition
rft.namelast Last name associated with Identity
rft.namefirst First name associated with Identity
rft.nameinitm Middle Initial associated with Identity
rft.namesuffix Name Suffix (eg. Jr.) associated with Identity
rft.nametitle Title (eg. Sir) associated with Identity Dates of life associated with Identity
rft.birthdate Birthdate associated with Identity
rft.deathdate Death Date associated with Identity Name associated with Identity. This can be any form of name

The OCLC Number of a work associated with the Identity

Takes the form of info:oclcnum/{oclcNumber}

rft.title Title of a work associated with the Identity


Name Definition
query Terms associated with Identity
callback Name of the function to send response back to

Resource Fields

Single Identity

Field Description


type of name (personal, corporate, subject, abandoned)


time the Identity record was created


key associated with the record
/Identity/audLevel audience level of the works related to identity. Works are listed in from lowest to highest audience level


Name authority information if it exists
/Identity/authorityInfo/viafid ID for Identity in Virtual International Authority file
/Identity/authorityInfo/wikidataid ID for Identity in Wikidata
/Identity/authorityInfo/wikiLink ID for Identity in Wikipedia
/Identity/authorityInfo/lccn LCCN for Identity
/Identity/associatedNames list of names found with the Identity in WorldCat records
/Identity/nameInfo extensive information about the identity (see nameInfo chart below)

non-Latin form of name if exists


Latin form of name


MARC field in which the name is most often found
/Identity/nameInfo/genres Genres associated with this name along with the count of holdings with each specific genre
/Identity/nameInfo/fastHeadings FAST headings associated with this name along with the count of holdings with each specific heading
/Identity/nameInfo/languages languages associated with this name along with the count of holdings with each specific language
/Identity/nameInfo/birthDate birth date for personal names
/Identity/nameInfo/deathDate death date for personal names
/Identity/nameInfo/dates list of years in which works by or about the identity were published
total holdings associated with this name
/Identity/nameInfo/@type Type of identity
Most commonly found Dewey Decimal Classification number found (weighted by holdings)
Most commonly found Library of Congress Classification number found (weighted by holdings)
list of relator codes associated with Identity and number of works with that relator
number of works associated with identity
number of records associated with identity
number of fiction works? associated with this identity
/Identity/by List of works by the identity
/Identity/about List of works about the identity
/Identity/bestCover ISBN for the best cover image
/Identity/bestCover/oclc OCLC Number for best cover image

Name Finder

Field Definition


query sent


maximum results returned


total number of results


type of name match (ExactMatchesWithDates, ExactMatches, ExactNameParts, FuzzyFirstName, FuzzyFamilyName, FuzzyName, FreeTextName )


how often this form of name used


score for this form of name


Best version of the name of display purposes


Relative URL to get the Identity being described

/nameAuthorities/match/lccn Library of Congress Control Number


Title of the most highly held work in WorldCat associated with that Identity

/nameAuthorities/match/pubDates Dates of associated holdings
/nameAuthorities/match/nameType type of name (personal, corporate)


Abandoned Identities

These are Identities which were valid at one point but are any longer. One reason an Abandoned Identity might come into being is due to a cataloging error which is a misattribution of a work or typo. So for example if a name associated with a book incorrectly in the MARC record in WorldCat then when the Identities is created from the WorldCat data that name will become an Identity. However, when the next update to Identities is performed and the MARC record has been updated to fix the error then the Identity becomes an Abandoned Identity.


Changes to Subject Identifiers

WorldCat Identities initially relied solely upon Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCNs) as its identifiers. However, subject identities have been converted to use OCLC's FAST data set. Subject identities that were previously based upon an LCCN-based URI will now redirect to the corresponding FAST-based URI. For example:

redirects to


Example URLs

Direct Linking Examples

To retrieve the Identity for George Bernard Shaw directly by using the LCCN n79-6533:


To retrieve the Identity for Secretariat (Race horse) directly by using the LCCN sh87-7920:


To retrieve the Identity for people that do not have an LCCN, you reference them directly:


OpenURL Examples

You can also build an OpenURL request to access an Identity. This is how people are linked to from To build an OpenURL request you minimally need either an ARN (authority record number) or both an OCLC Number and the author's last name. This should take you directly to the Identity record. However, if a match cannot be made then you will be directed to a NameFinder results set.

Minimal OpenURL request:


More complete OpenURL request:


Name Finder Search Example

The name finder service gives back a list of candidate names with URI's, ranking information, a sample title and other information about the name. NameFinder Search results are organized by Type of Name Match.

To retrieve search results based on the name George Bernard Shaw:


SRU Search Examples

You can perform an SRU search of the Identities database or any of the component four databases:

To search the whole identities dataset:


To search Corporate Identities:


To search Personal Identities:


To search Subject Identities:


To search Abandoned Identities:


AutoSuggest Example

A simple query of the Identities database to retrieve suggestions about possible matching Identities: