At WorldCat, you can search for "1.3 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide":

WorldCat is the largest library network in the world. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their free resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.

WorldCat will supersede the soon to be defunct RedLightGreen service (which you probably won't know about unless you are a librarian anyway!)

Readers Comments

  1. WorldCat has keener eyes, ears, noses or whatever in the U.S. than beyond. To take an example at random, it has my Concise History of Western Music as available in Britain only at the British Library and the Bodleian, when I know there are copies in many more libraries than that.

  2. Hiya Paul,

    Pity that WorldCat is rubbish for the UK (and beyond). The only UK-based similar thing I know of is

    "Copac is a union catalogue. It provides FREE access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland PLUS the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru."

  3. I have also been studying and like Paul Griffiths believe that the principle is a great idea; although is far from perfect. However, like I say it represents a step in the right direction, I have blogged about it here:

    Also, Mark have you tried looking at Talis Source (, another free catalogue similar to COPAC but it combines the holdings of nearly 200 UK libraries including public libraries, FE libraries and increasingly HE libraries.

    Also the contributed data is available to be consumed using APIs, so you can create your own 'regional catalogue' or mashup etc.

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