Explore the top ships in library collections

Top 10 Ships in Libraries


During the summer months, thoughts often turn to traveling, exploration and adventure. Adventurers before us would often begin their journey by setting foot on a ship of some kind, so we we've identified the top 10 ships in libraries.

OCLC Research has created an important aggregation of the people and organizations (including ships) noted in works described in WorldCat, called WorldCat Identities. As noted in his blog, Chief Scientist Thom Hickey has analyzed WorldCat Identities to produce a list of 50,000 ships, which has also been used in Peter McCracken's ShipIndex site. As Thom has noted, "Mostly people write about ships, but under AACR-2 [the library world's Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules] the ships themselves can be considered authors (e.g. of their logs)." From that comprehensive list of schooners, barks, whalers, sloops and other vessels, we selected the ships most represented in library collections.

WorldCat is the world's largest and most comprehensive catalog of library resources from around the world, with more than 314 million bibliographic records that represent more than 2 billion items held by participating libraries, including books, movies, music, e-books, licensed databases, online periodicals, digital collections and more. Because of its scale, WorldCat can be used to represent a large part of the scholarly and cultural record.

At OCLC Research, we're exploring records and mining data from WorldCat to highlight interesting and different views of the world's library collections each month. Be sure to check out our "What in the WorldCat?" page often to see what we come up with next.

For more information:

Bruce Washburn
Consulting Software Engineer
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research


Quick links

Top Ten Ships in Libraries [link]

What in the WorldCat? [link]

Thom Hickey's blog post, More ships in WorldCat Identities [link]

About WorldCat [link]

Search WorldCat [link]

About WorldCat Identities [link]

Search WorldCat Identities [link]