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A brief history of WorldCat

1971 The first bibliographic records are added to the OCLC Online Union Catalog (OLUC) by staff at the Alden Library at Ohio University
1974 The CONSER (Cooperative ONline SERials) program begins to build a database of authoritative serials records
1979 The OLUC grows to 5 million bibliographic records; OCLC has participating libraries in all 50 US states
1983 The Enhance Program begins and allows qualified libraries to add information to bibliographic records and to correct them in the OLUC
1989 The OLUC grows to 20 million bibliographic records
1996 The OLUC is renamed to WorldCat
2005 The 1 billionth library holding is added to WorldCat
2006 The WorldCat.org search box goes live, offering access to WorldCat to online information seekers
2008 WorldCat grows to 100 million bibliographic records, and for the first time, its non-English record content exceeds its English-language record content
2010 WorldCat grows to 200 million bibliographic records
2011 WorldCat becomes the global data hub for the OCLC WorldShare Platform
2012 OCLC releases WorldCat linked data to increase both innovation around library metadata and the visibility of libraries on the Web

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »