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OCLC Support

Update collections with OCLC numbers

Learn how to update your collections with OCLC numbers after your collection is harvested and synchronized with WorldCat.

When your collection is harvested and synchronized with WorldCat, OCLC numbers are added to the WorldCat record for each item. The Digital Collection Gateway then alerts your CONTENTdm Server that new OCLC numbers have been added.

Using CONTENTdm Administration, you can synchronize with the Digital Collection Gateway and the WorldCat records. You must then index the collection for changes to be updated in the collection. (Changes do not have to be approved.)


  • Users who want to sync OCLC number information back into their CONTENTdm repositories should set this up in the collection from the beginning and sync small numbers of records regularly rather than attempting to sync large numbers at one time.
  • Adding OCNs to your repository plays no role in matching between your repository and WorldCat.

For more information, see the tutorial Using the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway.

Update collections with OCLC numbers

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration.
  2. Click the Server tab.
  3. Click Harvesting. The Server Harvesting page displays. If there are OCLC numbers ready to synchronize with your collections, a message displays in the WorldCat Sync section of the page, prompting you to complete the synchronization and update records.
  4. Click Complete Sync. The Sync Collections page displays in a new window, listing collections that have new OCLC numbers.
    • To synchronize an individual collection, click the Sync Records link for the collection. Otherwise, click Sync Allto update all collections that have new OCLC numbers at once.
  5. A progress screen displays, and then the Sync Collections page displays, with the Records Ready status updated as Complete and the Last Sync time updated. The OCLC numbers have been added to the records for each collection, and those records can be indexed.
  6. Index the collection to update changes. For more information, see Build a collection index.

After you have completed the synchronization, your collection metadata matches the WorldCat Sync Report OCLC Records Numbers, which were added to the WorldCat records for each item.