WorldCat Online Catalog

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OCLC WorldCat is a free online bibliographic database of over 2 billion distinct works (books, newspapers, periodicals, videos, manuscripts, and more) at 72,000 participating libraries[1] in 172 countries and territories. The catalog of the Family History Library also has been made available via OCLC WorldCat starting in 2014.[2] Although it is the world’s largest catalog of library materials held around the world, WorldCat does not list collections housed in non-member repositories.

Using WorldCat[edit | edit source]

Searching WorldCat for sources is simple:

  • Go to
  • Type in some keywords for the title, place, subject, or person. An advanced search option is also available.
  • Click on the name of the title you need.
  • Enter your zip code in the Location box, then click Find Libraries. Your search results will be sorted geographically by nearest libraries.
  • Scroll down and click on the name of a holding library. This usually opens the same record in their own online catalog and may give more details.

Newspapers. The Finding Microfilmed Newspapers Wiki page includes WorldCat instructions and screenshots.

WorldCat Libraries[edit | edit source]

For a partial list of libraries, archives, societies, and museums with catalog records in WorldCat, and whose collections are described in this Wiki, see Category:WorldCat libraries. You can also enter a zip code or place name at the Find A Library tool to identify and locate participating libraries.

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • In most cases, the book or other item you are seeking will be available only in hard copy. If the WorldCat record shows no links to digitized copies, print it out, take it to your local library, and ask them to borrow a copy or request page scans/photocopies for you via interlibrary loan (ILL). This service is usually inexpensive or free.
  • The Advanced Search page enables you to limit your search to certain date ranges, types of materials, languages, and more.
  • WorldCat is not a full-text search engine. It will not find ancestral names or other key words inside of books. An individual's name will be built into a bibliographic record, and therefore findable in WorldCat, when he or she is the author or other creator, or a substantial part of a book's subject matter.

References[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: WorldCat
  1. For list of the small portion of those libraries which have a descriptive page in this Wiki, see the Category:WorldCat libraries.
  2. Official website.