The OAIster® database

OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records that represent open access resources. This catalog was built through harvesting from open access collections worldwide using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Today, OAIster includes more than 50 million records that represent digital resources from more than 2,000 contributors.

Access to OAIster

A freely accessible site for searching only OAIster records is available. Additionally, OAIster records are fully accessible through WorldCat.org, and appear as WorldCat.org search results along with records from thousands of libraries worldwide. The OAIster database is searchable on the OCLC FirstSearch service, providing another valuable access point for this rich database and a complement to other FirstSearch databases.

Contributing to OAIster

The OAIster database is included in WorldCat and metadata harvesting goes through the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway. These services offer several advantages for repository managers:

  • 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
  • your metadata will be syndicated wherever WorldCat data is syndicated

Additionally, OCLC has integrated OAIster with other open access digital resources. Our plan is to keep the freely accessible OAIster site available 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, archive, 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.

Service availability

  • Available everywhere

Past and recorded events

Upcoming events