I recently discovered a means of using WorldCat to identify which materials in our collection (in a particular format, language, etc.) are unique to our institution, or which are owned by a select number of institutions (whose holdings are in WorldCat) around the country. I thought it might be of interest to media librarians out there for any number of purposes (preservation, collection development, circulation policy, etc.). Of course, the results are only as good as the cataloging in WorldCat.
I. Limiting to items in WorldCat that are unique to your collection.
You have to do a search in order to limit. Because WorldCat has a fairly sophisticated search system, this is not much of a problem. Generally you will want to use "Material type" if you are limiting to media (though you can do the same thing for material in a particular language by using the "Language Phrase" drop down box). To do this, select "Material Type" from the drop down menu of one of the keyword search boxes (in the Advanced Search). Enter "Videorecording or Motion Picture". Click "Search". This will return a mother load of records, but will not display them all. Click "Limit" from the little icons at the upper left of the inner screen. Click on "Number of Libraries" and check the box next to 1 (and 2-4 if you want to see what you own that is fairly unique). Then click on the box near the top that says "Limit your results by items in "[Your Library]". Then click search.
This will give you what you own that is unique for the parameters you set (material type, language phrase, etc.).
The new OCLC collection overlap software can do more sophisticated things, but why pay for it if you can get the results you need just using WorldCat.
Hope this is of use to some of you. Let me know if you have any questions.
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
University of Arizona Library A210
1510 E. University
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721
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