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Gottesman Libraries Knowledge Base .: Research Help .: What Is WorldCat?

What Is WorldCat?

WorldCat is a catalog representing the holdings of over 10,000 libraries worldwide.  It includes records for over 1.2 billion items, including books, dissertations, videos, serial publications, articles, recorded books and music, electronic books, sheet music, genealogical references, cultural artifacts, digital objects, and websites.  The databases is searchable by standard bibliographic criteria (author, title, subject, keyword, etc.), and the results of a search indicate the number of libraries owning an item and in many cases provide links to those libraries' online catalogs.

WorldCat is accessible from the Library Resources page, under Other Catalogs, on our library's website, and is also available through the Columbia University Libraries at

WorldCat can serve as an invaluable research tool in facilitating a comprehensive search for books by a particular author or on a particular subject, allowing you to identify relevant works beyond those owned by libraries at Teachers College or Columbia.  WorldCat also enables you to identify other libraries holding titles of interest, in the event that you are interested in traveling elsewhere in the metropolitan area.  See the section on Referrals to Other Libraries for more information on using collections away from the Morningside campus.

An open access (unrestricted) version of the database is also available at

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