What Is WorldCat?

Screenshot of the WorldCat.org interface

WorldCat is a research tool that has helped make modern scholarship possible. It is the largest library catalog in the world!

Besides allowing you to search the world's largest union catalog, it provides an easy way for you to request interlibrary loans (ILL) of books not held by the ORU Library. OCLC members supply an ILL request every 1.4 seconds.

You can use Worldcat to do the following:

  1. To see what books other libraries might have on a particular topic that the ORU Library does not own.
  2. To locate a near-by library that owns a book that is not accessible through the ORU Library.
  3. To initiate an interlibrary loan request for a book or a dissertation from another library.
  4. To find out what books a particular author has written.
  5. To find out whether a book written in a language you don't know has been translated into a language you do know.

WorldCat Interfaces

Screenshot of First Search's WorldCat Interface

Screenshot of the WorldCat.org interface

Search Options Available in the FirstSearch Interface

  • Simple Search: Search by keyword, author, title, ISBN, and/or year.
  • Advanced Search: Search by the simple search fields plus many more including material type, publisher, and ISSN.
  • Limit Options: On the advanced search and on any results page, a search may be limited by year, language, and number of libraries as well as by type, such as books, internet resources, visual materials, sound recordings, serials, musical scores, and maps, and even subtypes such as dissertations, fiction, non-fiction, juvenile, non-juvenile, braille, etc. Limit by author or subject headings by clicking the limit button in the gray tool bar at the top.
  • Sort Options: on any results page, where there is more than one or fewer than 501 results, either select the Sort icon Sort at the top of the screen or click the Options link in the Navigation menu. Choose how you want the list sorted and select Set to sort.
  • Expert Search: This search box allow you to enter logical search strings, which are made up of search terms prefaced by field codes (e.g., ti: or au:) and combined with Boolean operators (AND, OR, or NOT) and/or special characters. You may need to ask a librarian for help in constructing such a search strategy.