Enhancements to WorldCat Search API

This past weekend we added some new enhancements to the WorldCat Search API.

New Open Digital Limit

The new Open Digital Limit is available through the SRU queries.  This limit returns records describing digital content contributed to WorldCat from open access digital repositories.  Records contain that URLs the point to the digital file.

The searchable values are:

  • cntnt = digital records from CONTENTdm repositories added to WorldCat via the Digital Collection Gateway
  • cntnt OR dgcnt = all digital records added to WorldCat via the Digital Collection Gateway
  • cntcoll OR dgcoll = all digital collection records added to WorldCat via the Digital Collection Gateway

Using this limit you can do searches specifically for digital materials. For example, all the digial materials from CONTENTdm repositories (added via the Digital Collection Gateway to WorldCat) with the subject Oregon Trail, primary document type of visual and material type photograph.


These records have links back to the digital object available on the web. The MARC version of the record have this information in an 856 field while the Dublin Core version puts this information in a dc: relation field.

If you're library's digital material aren't in WorldCat and you want to be able to search them this way then you need to use the Digital Collection Gateway to add them. The Digital Collection Gateway works with CONTENTdm or with other types of digital repositories. More information on the Digital Collection Gateway is available on the main OCLC web site.

Up to 100 results per query

It is now possible to get up to 100 records or library holdings information in a single query.  OpenSearch and SRU queries can get request up to 100 bibliographic records.  Library Location and Library Catalog URL requests can get up to 100 library holdings in a request.  The default level remains 10.

  • Karen Coombs

    Karen Coombs

    Senior Product Analyst