May 16, 2022

New From OCLC: Downloadable Linked Data File For the 1 Million Most Widely Held Works in WorldCat

From an OCLC Announcement:

OCLC has published bibliographic linked data for the most widely held works in WorldCat. This downloadable file—representing nearly 1.2 million resources—contains approximately 80 million linked data “triples,” the term for the most granular relationship possible between discrete pieces of information.

“This is an important step for libraries and linked data,” said Richard Wallis, OCLC Technology Evangelist. “Organizations wishing to develop linked data services can experiment with this data set before going into full development. They’ll also be able to stress-test new services using a very large and important set of up-to-date, linked library data. We are really interested to see what people will do with this data.”

The linked data is provided as RDF serialization, and uses the ontology as well as library extensions to that OCLC has been working on with members and partners over the last year. It is being made available, under an ODC-BY data license, in a single, 1-gigabyte, compressed (GZip) file, which can be downloaded from here.

While WorldCat contains bibliographic records for more than 275 million items, the choice was made to select the most widely held materials for this release in order to help keep the file at a manageable size. Jeff Young, the OCLC Research software architect who did much of the modeling necessary to generate the linked data file, explains, “To make the cut, a resource had to be held by at least 250 libraries. This seemed to us to be a good balance between providing widely useful data while making it reasonably manageable for most uses.”


Mike Teets, OCLC Vice President for Innovation, added, “This release will make it easier for the wider linked data community—commercial providers, retail organizations, researchers and scholars—to include library information in their workflows. It will also make it easier for libraries to do the same in reverse, connecting their materials back to the Web through services that people use every day.”

Read the Complete News Release

Direct to 1 GB Data File

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.