The Bibliothèque nationale de France has added the 200 millionth bibliographic record to the WorldCat database 39 years after the OCLC online union catalog and shared cataloging system was launched.
The record describes "Je reviendrai à Montréal" ("I will return to Montreal"), a sound recording by Robert Charlebois made in 1993. The 200 millionth record was added to WorldCat on August 27, 2010, only one day after the 39th anniversary of the launching of the OCLC online union catalog and shared cataloging system on August 26, 1971.
WorldCat continues to grow faster than ever. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, libraries added 56 million records to WorldCat. In comparison, it took the OCLC cooperative:
31 years, from 1971 to 2002, to add the first 50 million records
six years (2002-2008) to add the next 50 million
1.5 years (2008-2009) to add the next 50 million
10 months (November 2009-August 2010) to add the next 50 million, for a total of 200 million.
The growth rate for bibliographic records is being matched by that of holding symbols in WorldCat, which represent the libraries that hold the items cataloged. The number of holdings surpassed 1.6 billion on June 4, 2010. The OCLC cooperative hit 1 billion holdings on August 11, 2005. It took the cooperative 34 years to get to 1 billion. Since then, libraries have added more than half a billion symbols in less than five years.