May 18, 2022

New From Dublin: OCLC Releases WorldCat Discovery API (Beta)

From OCLC:

OCLC is introducing beta availability of the new WorldCat Discovery API, which provides access for libraries to search and find resources in both WorldCat and a central index of article and e-book metadata that represent the wide range of resources libraries provide to their users.

The WorldCat Discovery API exposes library collection data for items in WorldCat, including materials held by individual member libraries, consortia and libraries worldwide. Benefits include:

  • Access to an ever growing collection of central index metadata for which OCLC has been granted rights.
  • Linked Data response formats, so that library collections can speak the language preferred by the Web.
  • Facet functionality, so that libraries can deliver a modern search experience with the ability to quickly drill down into search results.
  • Access to the latest data models, including entities.

“Providing data layer access to bibliographic information for entities like people, places, works and events fulfills a key piece of OCLC’s data strategy to help libraries evolve with the larger Web,” said Ted Fons, Executive Director of OCLC Data Services and WorldCat Quality Management. “Making this data available as an API means libraries can connect bibliographic information to data sources not traditionally even catalogued or curated by libraries—such as the Wikipedia data infrastructure. Through the API, libraries will be able to deliver content from their collections and context from across the Web to support their users’ research needs.”

The WorldCat Discovery API is now available as a beta to a select number of libraries that subscribe to FirstSearch, WorldCat Local or WorldCat Discovery Services.

Full availability to all eligible libraries and partners is expected in early 2015. Developers will find documentation and sample code libraries on the OCLC Developer Network site, as well as instructions for how to request access to the API.

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.