Libraries provide the foundation

Libraries of all types contribute to WorldCat.

Libraries of all types from all over the world contribute to WorldCat records, so the records shared here represent many diverse interests. Every library, museum or archive that contributes metadata to WorldCat receives the membership benefits of the OCLC cooperative. OCLC members range from tiny public libraries in rural areas to major academic libraries spread across multiple buildings in a large city, from specialty libraries with depth in one specific topic to national libraries that encompass a whole nation’s cultural achievements. Each has something unique to share with the world through WorldCat.

Number of WorldCat records enhanced by member libraries:

Last year:1,010,187

(July 2019–June 2020)

Last month:83,281

(July 2021)

Peter Sidorko [photo]

“Global library cooperation…”

“Encompassing libraries from all sectors, of all sizes and at various stages of development, WorldCat epitomizes global library collaboration, crossing borders, languages and cultures to provide an unrivalled, unifying bibliographic platform.”

Peter Sidorko
OCLC Global Council President
University Librarian, The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam, Hong Kong

National libraries

National libraries all over the world share their collections through WorldCat. This allows libraries everywhere to connect people with information about many cultures and national identities.


National Library of Australia

  • WH: 5,917,904
  • OR: 2,187,919


National Library Service

  • WH: 31,577
  • OR: 6,825


The Botswana National Library Service

  • WH: 43,988


Biblioteca Nacional de Chile

  • WH: 13,827
  • OR: 10,413


The National Library of China

  • WH: 4,230,916
  • OR: 2,564,934

Czech Republic

National Library of the Czech Republic

  • WH: 921,992
  • OR: 838,081


Danmarks Pædagogiske Bibliotek

  • WH: 78,386
  • OR: 221,649

Det Kongelige Bibliotek

  • WH: 6,347,246
  • OR: 2


Bibliotheca Alexandrina

  • WH: 464,592
  • OR: 68


The National Library of Finland

  • WH: 753,527
  • OR: 717,633


Bibliothèque nationale de France

  • WH: 22,903,804
  • OR: 22,042,592


Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

  • WH: 2
  • OR: 19,449,194


National Séchényi Library

  • WH: 16,355
  • OR: 16,356


The National Library of Ireland

  • WH: 156,447
  • OR: 36,815


The National Library of Israel

  • WH: 2,898,206
  • OR: 2,077,789


National Library of Rome

  • WH: 2,342,895
  • OR: 1,467,804


The National Library of Jamaica

  • WH: 41,317
  • OR: 26,465


National Diet Library of Japan

  • WH: 6,129,142
  • OR: 5,635,396


Lebanese National Library

  • WH: 43


Lesotho National Library and Archives

  • WH: 1,932


Liechtenstein State Library

  • WH: 312,061


National Library of Lithuania

  • WH: 203


Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia

  • WH: 572,839
  • OR: 348,730


Biblioteca Nacional de México

  • WH: 428,630
  • OR: 320,224


National Library of Morocco

  • WH: 284,192
  • OR: 183,892


The National Library of Namibia

  • WH: 33,621


Koninklijke Bibliotheek

  • WH: 6,347,246
  • OR: 2

New Zealand

The National Library of New Zealand

  • WH: 1,804,948
  • OR: 729,479



  • WH: 0
  • OR: 381


Biblioteka Narodowa

  • WH: 5,151,205
  • OR: 4,576,131

Russian Federation

The National Library of Russia

  • WH: 4,061

Russian State Library

  • WH: 158


National Library Board

  • WH: 2,244,273
  • OR: 520,854


The National and University Library of Slovenia

  • WH: 1,245,814
  • OR: 53

South Africa

The National Library of South Africa

  • WH: 910,022
  • OR: 457

South Korea

National Library of Korea

  • WH: 1,347,295
  • OR: 1,486,993


Biblioteca Nacional

  • WH: 5,646,503
  • OR: 5,238,017


Kungl. Biblioteket

  • WH: 10,265,898
  • OR: 9,555,849


The Swiss National Library

  • OR: 646,915


National Central Library

  • WH: 1,234,143
  • OR: 681,401


Milli Kütüphane

  • WH: 496

United Kingdom

The British Library

  • WH: 6,984,189
  • OR: 10,849,318

The National Library of Scotland

  • WH: 6,444,010
  • OR: 2,744,799

The National Library of Wales

  • WH: 1,420,483
  • OR: 528,462

United States

Library of Congress

  • WH: 13,842,940
  • OR: 13,248,036

National Agricultural Library

  • WH: 1,036,967
  • OR: 435,704

National Library of Education

  • WH: 463,484
  • OR: 17,974

National Library of Medicine

  • WH: 3,763,217
  • OR: 3,403,227

WH = Number of WorldCat holdings     OR = Number of original records

Data current as of November 2020

Academic libraries

Academic libraries support students and faculty with specialized research on a wide variety of topics. They contribute records to WorldCat for these resources and their unique holdings, such as dissertations, theses, published research papers and often the data sets that support that research.

Search in one place for resources worldwide.

interior of the library at ADA University [photo]

"I think it is very important to get a new area's culture and language loaded into WorldCat, so then it is exposed to the rest of the world."

Martha Speirs, Former Director
ADA University, Azerbaijan

Read ADA University's story

Improve the quality of your online catalog.

woman using the library at Biblical Theological Seminary [photo]

“The students appreciate that the catalog is available in Korean [through the WorldCat Discovery interface]. I've seen a number of them with it set to that.”

Lydia Putnam, Technical Services Manager
Biblical Theological Seminary, United States

Read the seminary’s story

Public libraries

Public libraries form the centerpiece of their communities by providing a wide variety of services and by archiving local history and genealogical resources. By cataloging their materials in WorldCat, public libraries connect people around the world with resources for job searches, school science projects, book clubs, cooking and many other topics.

Satisfy a wider range of needs through worldwide resource sharing.

exterior of Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library [photo]

“The breadth and depth of what's available through the OCLC resource-sharing network is an invaluable source of materials for our community.”

Diana Parker, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, United States

Read Stow-Munroe Falls’ story

Pull your archives out of the basement and share them with the world.

Logo for Picture South Perth [photo]

“...our users ... can now browse the collections at their leisure, at any time of day, from any location...”

Farah Kabbani, Local History Librarian
South Perth Library, Australia

Read South Perth’s story

Special libraries

Special libraries support distinct organizations, such as a government office, church, corporation, hospital, museum or research center. These libraries contribute incredibly deep collections to WorldCat on very specific topics that are invaluable to researchers.

Move from cataloging to curating for your users.

people in Pritzker Military Museum and Library [photo]

“We're putting VIAF numbers into Wikipedia and helping to build those connections between Wikipedia and WorldCat.”

Theresa Embrey, Chief Librarian
Pritzker Military Museum & Library, United States

Read Pritzker’s story

Facilitate research through group catalogs.

Painting: The Return to Amsterdam of the Second Expedition to the East Indies, Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom, 1599, courtesy of the Rijksmuseum [photo]

“The benefit of this move to WorldCat is how scalable it is.”

Geert-Jan Koot, Head
Rijksmuseum Research Library, Netherlands

Read the Rijksmuseum’s story

OCLC improves WorldCat through cooperative management.

The cooperative nature of WorldCat lets libraries participate in OCLC's continuing expansion and enhancement of WorldCat bibliographic records and collections. Not only can librarians contribute, edit and export WorldCat records, but most can also make changes to core bibliographic data in WorldCat records that other libraries can localize for their own catalogs. Libraries may have different levels of authorization based on their participation in WorldCat.

Catalogers can add records to the WorldCat bibliographic catalog in whatever authorized cataloging guideline or rules their institutions use, including RDA, AACR2 and specialized community standards. They can export records from WorldCat in various MARC and Dublin Core formats to use in library management systems and other systems. OCLC standardizes the data that libraries provide to make the records useful to the whole cooperative.

Sharing materials across borders in Europe

Carol Bream [photo]

“Searching for information…”

“The European Commission is a highly secure environment, which makes it really difficult to get data across borders... . Therefore, we decided to put our library data on WorldCat, so it’s available not only for external users searching for information on Europe, but also for our own staff.”

Carol Bream
Advisor on the Future of Libraries (Retired)
European Commission Central Library
Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium

Making WorldCat data work for libraries

OCLC works on behalf of libraries to make high-quality WorldCat data available for libraries and partners all over the world to share and reuse across many systems, sites and applications. To ensure that WorldCat remains valuable and sustainable, the OCLC Board of Trustees has collaborated with member libraries to develop several policies and guidelines that outline a code of good practice based on shared values, trust and reciprocity. The OCLC Global Council has asked members to follow the community norms set forth in WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative when using and transferring individual WorldCat records and aggregated sets of those records.

WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative

Using the data

OCLC strives to make WorldCat records accessible and valuable to libraries and researchers. Although OCLC holds the copyright in WorldCat database as a compilation, the OCLC membership endorses the Open Data Commons Attribution (ODC-BY) license with respect to information contained in individual records. In fact, OCLC has implemented an ODC-BY license notice for its own projects. This license gives WorldCat users a firm foundation upon which to build new applications, perform analyses, create new tools and otherwise build new things using their library information.

Learn more about data licensing