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Open Worldcat’s Find in a Library
Search for library materials through WorldCat:
Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

What is “Find-in-a-Library”??

It’s the search engine for a program called “The Open WorldCat” which allows book and media materials from participating OCLC member libraries to be found on sites which can access OCLC’s WorldCat database. This database covers libraries in many cities/regions/countries. As a result, by using their postal code, searchers can find what books and other library materials are available in a given area, no matter where they live. For genealogists this is a great help, because nearby out-of-town libraries might have a much-needed genealogy book that a local library may not have. Or a researcher may find a desired book at a library in another area (or even country!) that another friend/family member living there could access and relay the information. Or planned vacations can be combined with genealogy research, as this program can help “scout out” that vacation city’s library holdings of interest.

How to Search WorldCat
To search, use the search box above, using subject words such as North Carolina marriages, or exact book title, or name of author. When results appear, click on title of interest, then type in your zip code for a secondary search to locate libraries near you having that book.

WorldCat for Genealogy
The OCLC site explains their WorldCat for Genealogy which includes answers to common questions. When I first listed this link in early 2000s, I was kind of “lost” in some of the explanations in its use, so I just used the above search engine. According to their updated (2017) site, they now share their database holdings with The Open WorldCat page is targeted mainly to librarians, but is informative about its features.

Online booksellers are also on the database that lists books for sale. The most current list can be seen at the above header link. At time of my writing (2006), these were the other sites involved:

Abebooks // Alibris // Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America // Biblio // BookPage