Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2006 Issue

OCLC: Going Directly To The Public


OCLC announces its new WorldCat search is "coming soon."

Easy access to the WorldCat catalogue becomes one more in a series of tools now readily available to researchers, collectors, and dealers. It is really quite amazing when you think about it. Access to 70 million library cards, 80 million books for sale on Abe, 60 million on Alibris (obviously with some duplication), 35 million on Biblio, or over 100 million using a combined search tool like AddAll, access to the complete text of old books through sites like Google Book Search and Project Gutenberg, searching inside the book offered by Amazon, or searching of listings from worldwide auctions as offered by this site, are all available free and online. Closely targeted databases are also available by subscription, such as the 1.4 million record auction/catalogue/bibliography AE Database offered by the Americana Exchange, and the 800,000 record auction database from American Book Prices Current, now available on CD-ROM. The resources which have become available within the past few years are astonishing. OCLC's WorldCat index now joins the group of those easy to find and use.

The new WorldCat search will be available in beta form sometime this month at www.worldcat.org. In the meantime, you can search the WorldCat database in an older form by going to www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/olcl/.

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