Definition of term:: OCLC

  • An abbreviation for a worldwide online database that gathers information about the locations and holdings of specific titles in libraries. When it was founded in 1967 it stood for the Ohio College Library Center. However, when it expanded far beyond this regional information a new title was needed to fit the acronym so it is now the Online Computer Library Center. Although the information on OCLC is constantly improving, it is far from a complete listing of all rare books in all rare book libraries. Nevertheless, the information it does contain can be very helpful in ascertaining relative scarcity and other bibliographic attributes. A dealer will never mention if OCLC locates 427 copies of a book in libraries, but if he or she can only find three copies, expect to pay a premium.
French: OCLC
German: KvK
Source: What bookdealers really mean. A dictionary by Tom Congalton and Dan Gregory (Between the Covers), with additions from other sources