To manage your WorldCat Registry profiles or create a new one, sign into OCLC Service Configuration

Frequently Asked Questions about the WorldCat Registry

About the Registry


Getting Started


Online Catalog linking


What is the WorldCat Registry and why should I use it?

The WorldCat Registry is a Web-based directory of libraries and library consortia. This authoritative service allows any institution to do three things:

  1. Create and maintain comprehensive institutional information in a secure, Web-accessible location
  2. Share institutional information internally between branches or consortia members, and externally with vendors and other third parties
  3. Enhance the visibility of institutional services and content through Web services such as

The Registry streamlines the routine maintenance of many kinds of information about your physical operations, computer systems and people that a variety of organizations need.vendors, publishers, partners, funding agencies, fellow institutions, and the OCLC cooperative.

The Registry provides a secure Web platform where all parties can quickly access the most up-to-date information. You avoid having to maintain duplicate information, and can automate routine tasks such as activating a new subscription service, renewal or IP update.

When your institution participates in the WorldCat Registry, you also realize another key benefit: your services get greater visibility online via and in Web-enabled applications like mobile phones. This means that more people will discover, link to and use your content. Learn more about where your data goes

Vendors, service partners and developers can also use Registry data.See some examples »

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What information about my institution is included in the WorldCat Registry?

The WorldCat Registry features data about an institution.s physical facilities, operations, services, and people, including:

  • Identifying codes assigned by various standards or industry organizations;
  • Details about its location, contacts, Web sites, and electronic services;
  • A record of relationships with parent consortia or child branches;
  • Library catalog links;
  • OpenURL resolver information to help link your users to full text

See all data that can be included

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What constitutes an "institution," for purposes of the Registry?

That is largely up to the community that utilizes the WorldCat Registry. OCLC has pre-populated the Registry with entries for libraries, archives, museums and other forms of institutions. All libraries are encouraged to maintain a presence in the matter how small.

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Is my Registry information available through

Yes, if you are an OCLC member library whose holdings are visible on, certain data relative to physical location and electronic services will display in results.

All libraries.regardless of OCLC Member status--are visible on WorldCat Registry and through the Search for a Library feature on

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Does my institution have to be an OCLC member to use the WorldCat Registry?

No! The Registry is open to all libraries and consortia.

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How much does it cost to participate in the WorldCat Registry?

Participation in the WorldCat Registry is free for any library or consortium. There is no charge to have your institution represented or to share your information with vendors or other entities.

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What if our institution does not want to be included in the Registry?

The easiest way to limit the visibility of your institution in the WorldCat Registry is to set the Privacy Preference of your institution to "Private" on the Name and Location screen. Learn more

Once your Privacy Preference is set to "Private," only your institution's name and street address will be publicly searchable or viewable in the Registry. You can still choose to share your information internally with staff or externally with vendors and other third parties, even if it is marked private.

Should you at any time want all mention of your institution removed from WorldCat Registry, you may opt out. To opt out, send a message to, and include your name, your institution's name and the WorldCat Institution ID assigned to your Registry profile. An OCLC representative will contact you to confirm your request.

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How do we add or update our institution information in the WorldCat Registry?

  1. Sign in to OCLC Service Configuration to update Registry information. Either create a new user account, or use an existing account from one of the following OCLC services:
  2. Select your institution from a dropdown list. Many OCLC member institutions and many others outside the OCLC cooperative are already represented. If you don.t see your institution on the dropdown list, you can request new authorization.
  3. Start entering your information or add to the existing data.

Learn more on how to obtain authorization to manage your institution.s data.

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What user name and password can be used to sign in to OCLC Service Configuration, where I can edit my Registry information?

Existing user accounts you may have with the following OCLC services are accepted by OCLC Service Configuration:

Note that WorldCat Registry was originally prepopulated with information for many institutions, and you may not have authorization for your institution. You cannot edit data until your user account has been authorized for your institution.(Learn more about authorizing your account.)

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Why would I need to authorize my account and how do I do it?

WorldCat Registry has multiple levels of access; an authorized account has the highest level of access. The chart below illustrates permitted activities within these levels and explains how to authorize your account:

Level of access What you can do
Authenticated An authenticated user is one who has created a new user account or signed in with one of several accepted OCLC service accounts. Authentication proves to OCLC that you are who you say you are, but it does not recognize you as being affiliated with (or authorized to act on the behalf of) any specific institution. An authenticated user can contribute data fields are blank but is not authorized to change existing data or otherwise manage or share institutional information.
Authorized An authorized user is one whose user account is authenticated and has been given full authority to manage, edit and share institutional information in the Registry. To achieve authorization, sign in to OCLC Service Configuration and
  1. Authorize your account instantly by entering your institution's OCLC service authorization for either the FirstSearch reference service or the Connexion cataloging service; or
  2. Submit a request to OCLC for authorization. The request is processed manually by OCLC personnel, who review your affiliation with the institution and grant authorization, notifying you via e-mail.

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Can I maintain Registry information for more than one institution?

Yes, as long as you are listed as an authorized user for each institution.

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I'm an OCLC member library. Is my library already represented?

Yes. OCLC has automatically created Registry information for its members with existing data. OCLC has also included many non-OCLC institutions using data freely available from other sources. Before you add your institution, please search the Registry to see if your institution is already represented.

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Who can view my institution's Registry information?

Only people with access to OCLC Service Configuration that are authorized to edit your institutional information can view everything. Unauthorized users can only view select information, which does not include sensitive data such as IP addresses or staff credentials. You can always choose not to provide a certain piece of information.

The easiest way to see what Registry information is available to unauthorized users is to search WorldCat Registry or use the "Search for a Library" feature on

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Who can change or add information to my institution's Registry profile?

Only people with access to OCLC Service Configuration that you have authorized to edit your institution's information will be able to change or add your institution.s information. You can see authorized users for your institution in the OCLC Service Configuration.

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Can more than one person maintain an institution's profile?

Yes, an institution can permit multiple users to modify its profile. (Authorized users for an institution are maintained via the "Authorize Users" link on the Profile Summary page.)

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What are catalog deep links?

Deep links allow Web users who have reached the item to link directly to the same record in your library's online catalog.

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Why should libraries maintain catalog deep links in the Registry?

WorldCat Registry data is syndicated across the Web sites that millions of information seekers use every day, through partnerships with major search engines such as Google and Yahoo!, and through OCLC Web services.

When you maintain catalog deep links in the Registry, more people will link to, discover and use your content. If your Registry information doesn.t include deep-linking information, Web users following syndicated WorldCat data cannot reach an individual item record in your catalog; they're taken instead to your catalog's main search page, where they must repeat their search.

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How do I update my library's catalog links?

If you are logged in to the OCLC Service Configuration and have been authorized to manage your institution's information, find the "Online Catalog" section. You can either manually set up the links, or let the Registry automatically suggest the deep links.

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Can the Registry help set up deep catalog links for my library?

Yes. Setting up links can be complex due to the large number of catalog vendors and product lines, so the WorldCat Registry features automatic suggestions for the URL syntaxes used in deep linking based on a sample link you provide.

Be sure to test suggested links before saving them to your Registry profile. A successful test should display your ILS interface and, within it, your local record for the test item. (If you do not hold the item, whatever message or interface facility your ILS employs for "record not found" should be displayed.)

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Is my online catalog vendor supported by the deep-link suggestion feature?

The WorldCat Registry can automatically suggest deep catalog links for many vendors and online catalog products. A list of currently supported syntaxes by vendor and link types is available on WorldCats xISBN Bookmarklet and Library Lookup service page.

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I am an OCLC member library. When will Registry updates to my deep catalog links start working in

If your library is eligible to have its WorldCat holdings exposed via, updates made to OCLC Service Configuration will be functional on the next business day.

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How can I stay up-to-date on new Registry features and other news?

Use the "Get E-mail Updates" link at the top of this or other Registry pages.

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What constitutes an "institution," for purposes of the Registry?

That is largely up to the community that utilizes the WorldCat Registry. OCLC has pre-populated the Registry with entries for libraries, archives, museums and other forms of institutions. Traditionally, of course, institutions consist of physical facilities with physical and/or electronic collections and/or services that cross multiple departments or branches, administered by one or more professionals. However, no restrictions prevent a smaller physical entity such as a church library, or a "virtual" entity such as a digital library, from representing itself in the Registry. Note, though, that a postal address is required.

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Are there ways our Registry information can be used internally?

Yes. You can place a link to your institution's full information on your library's intranet site. This will provide your staff a common location to find current technical and service information for your institution. You can also save your institution's information as an XML file, which can be locally managed and shared in whatever way you choose.

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If I download our information in XML format, what can I do with it?

An XML-format file is easily imported into Microsoft Excel. Save your data onto your computer from a Web browser window, then open it in Excel. Excel automatically parses the XML data into spreadsheet columns.

Storing the file locally or on a network location as an Excel file may be preferred in some institutions' workflows. You may also wish to use the Excel file for quarterly review among staff to ensure institutional data is accurate.

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I'm an OCLC member library. Should I continue to maintain my IP address setting in the FirstSearch Administrative Module and/or other OCLC applications?

Yes. IP address information is, for the moment, used only for the services that are maintained through OCLC Service Configuration.

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Some information in my institution's existing Registry profile is not correct. How can I let OCLC know of records that require corrections?

The WorldCat Registry was pre-populated with institutional data from several different sources, both OCLC and non-OCLC. The intent of the WorldCat Registry is to grow a trusted resource of data collectively managed by librarians and others in the community of knowledge-based institutions. The power of this approach is that it lets the community identify Registry data that needs to be fixed, help to fix it when possible and maintain data accuracy over time.

OCLC welcomes this collaborative assistance and will make corrections based on your feedback. If you know of incorrect data and are not authorized, please send a message to

As the overall accuracy of the WorldCat Registry grows, so too will its value as a network resource. Thank you for your help!

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I've discovered duplicate Registry profiles for my institution. What should I do?

Choose which information you wish to keep active, and contact OCLC at about removing the unwanted duplicates. Include your name, your institution's name and the WorldCat Institution ID(s) assigned to the duplicate information. An OCLC representative will contact you to confirm your request.

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Does OCLC have plans to make the WorldCat Registry available in other languages?

OCLC intends to translate the Registry into other languages. Future interface translations will be announced as they are released.

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