New Web service now available: WorldCat Metadata API

We're happy to announce a brand new Web service now available through the OCLC WorldShare Platform: the WorldCat Metadata API.

Libraries have been collectively building and improving WorldCat for the past 40 years to get information seekers to answers and to help other libraries be more efficient. As a testament to that effort, WorldCat recently reached 2 billion holdings. Today, we’re handing you the tools to create applications to add new and enrich existing WorldCat bibliographic records, and maintain WorldCat insititution holdings and local bibliographic data. Using the WorldCat Metadata API, you can construct streamlined workflows tailored to your own local environment.


The WorldCat Metadata API provides access to core resources in WorldCat:

Master Bibliographic Record
Contribute to and maintain the core data that lies at the center of your WorldCat collection.

  • Add new records to WorldCat
  • Read existing records
  • Update metadata in existing records

Institutional Holdings
Register collections in WorldCat and keep them up to date as your local collection evolves.

  • Add WorldCat holdings
  • Delete WorldCat holdings

Local Bibliographic Data Records
Add a local touch to your share of the global collection.

  • Create new metadata

  • Read existing records
  • Update metadata in existing records
  • Delete metadata

If you’re not familiar with Local Bibliographic Data, it’s metadata for a specific record that is not appropriate to share with all libraries in the master record and can include data such as local notes, local subjects, or local authors.


We’re happy to talk to you about the possibilities. Have a project in mind already? Keep us posted! We’d love to hear about what you build with the new Metadata API.

Coming soon! You can look forward to the ability to enhance your holdings data with Local Holdings Records via the Metadata API. Local Holdings Data is additional metadata specific to a copy of an item and can include data such as local call numbers, local barcodes, local URLs, and journal coverage.

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