Z39.50 Cataloging support

With the OCLC Z39.50 Cataloging service, libraries access WorldCat to search and retrieve MARC records for cataloging, edit records in their local systems, and set holding information in WorldCat. This service is available to libraries who have a cataloging subscription. If your library does not have a cataloging subscription take the first step today to learn more.

Features and requirements


  • Search and retrieve OCLC-MARC records in WorldCat for cataloging
  • Search and retrieve LC Names and Subjects authority file records
  • Edit records in your local system
  • Set holdings information on WorldCat online via Z39.50, or through OCLC batchload
  • Customized local displays defined by your local Z39.50 client
  • Bibliographic records include non-Latin scripts


  • You need Z39.50 client software that is:
    • Integrated or compatible with your local online system
    • Capable of implementing the OCLC Extended Services Definition of Version 3 (Z39.50-1995) for setting holdings or for requesting cataloging cards. (This capability is not required if you return holdings via batch services or EDX).

      Note: Consult with your local system vendor and/or system administrator for information on implementation of the OCLC Extended Services Definition and assistance with local client configuration.

  • Also required is the ability to extract OCLC-derived Z39.50 records from your local system (for libraries setting holdings via batchload or EDX only).

Just getting started?

See our Z39.50 Cataloging Getting Started Guide to begin using the service.

Doing more with Z39.50 Cataloging

See Search Tips to find out how to find the items you need more efficiently.

Get the answers you need

Have a question about searching, holdings, or authority work? These topics and others are covered in frequently asked questions.

Frequently used documentation

Need assistance for Z39.50 Cataloging?

Contact OCLC Support
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