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About query collections

Find examples of how libraries use query collections in Collection Manager.


Use the instructions in Query collections to guide you through the steps to configure and create query collections. Quick facts about query collections in Collection Manager:

  • When creating a query collection, you will use search labels and syntax to define the WorldCat Selection Criteria
  • You can customize records so that the domains from the WorldCat record that you specify will remain in the 856 field of your records; The URLs will not be library-specific
  • Collection Manager will display in the interface the number of records retrieved for your query; A list of titles will not be visible within the interface. However, if you enable New Records and Updated Records records reports, you will get emailed reports that list the titles for which you received MARC records


  • Query collections do not allow you to set holdings in WorldCat.
  • There is a 20,000 character limit (including special characters) for the WorldCat Selection Criteria.
  • To ensure optimal performance, query collections are limited to 30 million records. If you want to create a query with over 30 million results, please contact OCLC Support to obtain the needed permission.
  • Your file of MARC records will be available within 24-48 hours after MARC record delivery is enabled for the collection. See Record output and timing for more information.

When do libraries use query collections?

Libraries use query collections to:

  • Output WorldCat records for titles from a specific provider or for titles about a specific a subject
  • Limit record output to titles they hold in WorldCat
  • Output WorldCat records for all their print serials
  • Output WorldCat holdings across multiple OCLC symbols as part of a consortium or as a library with multiple campuses
  • Output WorldCat records for all of their holdings in WorldCat and create a spreadsheet of their holdings (See Create a spreadsheet of your WorldCat holdings for instructions)

Examples of WorldCat Selection Criteria

See examples of how to construct a query string in Collection-level settings in query collections, WorldCat Selection Criteria.