General Resources: OCLC FirstSearch Databases
OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) is a non-profit organisation which provides access to FirstSearch databases only through libraries, not to individual subscribers, but if your library has subscribed to OCLC services, you can ask it for a password and user number to obtain individual access.

Authorized users can access OCLC FirstSearch databases optionally via Telnet or via FirstSearch on the Web. The databases can be selected from menues under the headings 'General/Books/Periodicals', 'Arts/Humanities', 'Business/Law', 'Education/Social Studies', 'Science/Technology'. The following gives two listings of databases available in the sections 'Arts and Humanities' and 'General'.

Arts and Humanities:

  • A & H Search {WebSearch | Telnet}: indexes more than 1.300 arts and humanities journals and selected articles from more than 5.800 social science and science journals, includes more than 1.4 million records containing bibliographic citations (covers 1980 to the present, upgraded weekly)
  • Art Abstracts {WebSearch | Telnet}: indexes more than 200 international arts publications (1984 to the present with abstracts starting in Spring 1994, updated monthly)
  • MLA Bibliography {WebSearch | Telnet}, produced by The Modern Language Association of America: lists items published in 4.000 journals and series published worldwide, includes books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies (1963 to the present, upgraded ten times per year, approximately 45.000 records annually)
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature {WebSearch | Telnet}: corresponds to the printed RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, contains over 200.000 items (1969 to the present, updated quarterly)


  • Articles First {WebSearch | Telnet}: items listed on the table of contents page of individual issues of more than 13,000 journals (January 1990 to the present for most journals, upgraded daily)
  • Biography Index {WebSearch | Telnet}: biographical information from more than 2,700 English-language periodicals (July 1984 to the present, upgraded monthly), covers biographical subjects from antiquity to the present, of all fields and nationalities
  • Book Review Digest {WebSearch | Telnet}: cites and excerpts reviews of current English-language fiction and nonfiction books (if the reviews have appeared within 18 months after the book was published), covers approximately 100 leading periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain (January 1983 to the present, upgraded monthly)
  • Books In Print {WebSearch | Telnet}: in-print, out-of-print, and forthcoming books from more than 44,000 North American publishers (updated weekly)
  • Contents First {WebSearch | Telnet}: contains the complete table of contents page from individual issues of more than 13,000 journals (January 1990 for most journals, updated daily), subjects include the humanities
  • Dissertation Abstracts Online (UMI) {WebSearch | Telnet}: covers dissertations accepted at accredited U.S institutions since 1861, with selective coverage of masters theses, Canadian dissertations, and British and other European dissertations, includes abstracts for doctoral dissertations beginning July 1980 and for masters theses beginning spring 1988 (updated monthly)
  • FastDoc {WebSearch | Telnet}: a subset of Articles First, for ordering the text (online viewing or one-hour fax delivery) of articles covered by Articles First (1990 to the present, updated weekly)
  • Library Literature {WebSearch | Telnet}: indexes more than 220 library and information science periodicals published internationally (December 1984 to the present, updated monthly)
  • NetFirst {WebSearch | Telnet}: indexes Internet-accessible resources (World Wide Web pages, interest groups, library catalogs, FTP sites, Internet services, Gopher servers, electronic journals, and newsletters), approximately 8000 records each month (updated continually)
  • Papers First {WebSearch | Telnet}: citations of papers presented at worldwide meetings, conferences, expositions, workshops, congresses, and symposia, covers published information received by The British Library Document Supply Center (October 1993 to the present, updated monthly)
  • Periodical abstracts {WebSearch | Telnet}: abstracts describing selected articles from more than 1,500 general and academic journals, transcripts of selected segments of more than 80 news- and lifestyle-oriented television and radio programs (January 1987 to the present for many journals and mid-1991 to the present for television programs, updated weekly)
  • Proceedings First {WebSearch | Telnet}: citations of publications from worldwide meetings, conferences, expositions, workshops, congresses, and symposia, lists the papers presented at such events (October 1993 to the present, upgraded monthly)
  • WorldCat {WebSearch | Telnet}, The OCLC Online Union Catalog: more than 32 million records describing items (including manuscripts) owned by libraries around the world (covers items from about 1000 A.D. to the present, adds new records daily)
Last upgrade: 20 March 1997,
Part of: Otfried Lieberknecht's Homepage for Dante Studies