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Find Materials with WorldCat UMD

What is WorldCat UMD?

WorldCat UMD is based on WorldCat, a shared catalog made up of library holdings from around the world, you can find and get access to resources beyond what is held by the UMD Libraries. You can find and access materials held by our consortial partners including other Big Ten Libraries and other Maryland academic libraries participating in University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI). WorldCat UMD can also help you find and request materials using our Interlibrary Loan Services.

You can access WorldCat UMD through a variety of methods.

Direct Access

WorldCatUMD can be directly accessed at

From the UMD Libraries' Homepage

WorldCatUMD can be accessed from the UMD Libraries' homepage, by selected "WorldCat" radio button within the search box.

Arrow pointing to WorldCatUMD option in search box

Within Search All

Search All, the default search tool on the Libraries' website, searches and provides access to WorldCat UMD. The first two sets of results, labeled "Books and More" and "Articles", are results coming directly from WorldCat UMD. By clicking on a title, the search result box header, or the "see all..." link, you will be directed to the WorldCat UMD interface.

Book and article search boxes of Search All

  • Print Books
  • E-Books
  • Journals
  • Articles
  • DVDs
  • Government Documents
  • Archival Materials and Manuscripts
  • Sound Recordings
  • Dissertations
  • Music Scores
  • Internet Resources
  • Audio Books
  • Streaming Media
  • Open Access e-journals and e-books
  • Open Educational Resources (OERs) in the Open Textbook Library

Filtering and Sorting Results


  • Library Facets
    • In WorldCat UMD, you will find a Held By Library facetsseries of faceting options on the left-hand side of the screen. The top of this list features library options as pictured here. The default option selected is Libraries Worldwide, which produces the largest set of records, searching the entire WorldCat database. From here, you can refine your search by selecting library consortia (either the Big Ten Academic Alliance or USMAI Libraries) that maintain lending programs, providing access to their materials. You can also limit a search to UMD Libraries (University of Maryland, College Park) or narrow your search further by searching collections at a particular UMD Library, like the Art Library.
  • Format Facets
    • Example of book formats:Book format facets
  • Subject Facets (Screenshot)
    • Example of subject facets:Subject term facet examples


WorldCat UMD includes several options for sorting search results. The default sort option is "Library," which uses a relevance algorithm to prioritize materials held by the University of Maryland Libraries, followed by holdings of Sort optionsconsortial libraries in the Big Ten and USMAI. This default sort option is generally recommended for beginning and general researchers; it helps you find the best resources you can access in the fastest time.

While the Library sort option may meet the needs of many researchers at UMD, advanced researchers may be searching for a specific item. In these cases switching to the "Best Match" sort is recommended. This sort option uses a relevance-only algorithm making it the best choice for known-item searching.

WorldCat UMD also includes a recency sort option. This option prioritizes search-results based on a relevance algorithm which includes boosts for more recently published materials. This option may be helpful for researchers seeking the most recent research or working on literature reviews.

Finally, WorldCat UMD does provide other sort options, including alphabetical sorting based on title or author name, publication date, and the number of libraries holding the item.

How to Find Alternative Editions and Formats

Sometimes a research needs a particular edition of a book. While searching within WorldCatUMD and alternative editions or formats are available, a user will be presented with the alAlternate editions and formats menu

Searching WorldCat Indexes

Index Labels

If you want to get more precise searching you can use index labels. This technique is similar to using the drop-down menus in the advanced search. In fact, anything you can do in the advanced search can also be replicated in the single search box by using index labels. In addition, and importantly, the index labels offer many more choices than what you get from the advanced search screen.

You can find a complete list of supported indexes here.

Some useful ones:

  • am: access method (such as a url)
  • au: author name
  • b8: searches by University of Maryland Library and location (for example: b8:UMAA searches for items in UMD's Achitecture library)
  • bn: ISBN
  • in: ISSN
  • ln: language (e.g., ln:English)
  • no: OCLC Number
  • nu: call number
  • pb: by publisher name
  • se: series titles
  • sn: standard number (ISBN, ISSN, LCCN, and many others)
  • su: subject term
  • ti:  title

Index Search Types (: vs =)

OCLC index searching generally supports two "types" for searching, word searching and phrase searching, which are denoted by punctuation used when searching, colon and equals sign respectively. Not all indexes support both types of searching, so you may want to double check with the documentation when first trying out index searching. Phrase type searching seeks only returns records matching the exact phrase in your query while word type searching will return records matching any part of your query. For example au=Shakespeare, William returns records where the author is an exact match for Shakespeare, William, but au:Shakespeare, WIlliam will return records where the author field contains either "Shakespeare" or "William". Phrase searching can be helpful for creating targeted searches, but it is important to be mindful that it is a strict search. For example, if you're searching for Edgard Allen Poe's Complete Stories and Poems and you run the search ti=Complete Stories and Poems, the copies of the book owned by the libraries will not be returned because the title is not an exact match (for example, one of our copies of the book is titled Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, which would not be returned by that phrase search because it has additional words in the title). See how the results are different when using the word search instead of the phrase search.

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