Searching across international collections

While researching, you may need to explore international organisations that might hold material not available in Australia.

Let's take a look at three websites that can help you search for international material.


WorldCat is the largest library catalogue on the web. You can use it to search collections from over 10,000 libraries across the world. You can search by subject, keyword, author or title.

It's a great way to find out what libraries hold a particular book, and is particularly handy if you're searching for a rare book with limited holdings. Of course, it's invaluable if you're looking for collections that are unavailable in Australia.


Like Trove, Europeana brings together millions of collection items from cultural institutions – in this case, museums, libraries and galleries across Europe.

As you can imagine, this is an incredibly powerful search tool. New collections are added every month, and you'll find some amazing material here.

Europeana also collates resources on specific topics through online exhibitions and websites. For example, Europeana 1914-1918 explores World War I.


Go to Europeana and search for Napoleon Bonaparte.

What sort of material can you find?


Copac brings together the catalogues of over 90 major UK and Irish libraries. Similar to WorldCat, it's a great way to discover the different resources held by different libraries.

Copac's search engine retrieves results from national libraries, university libraries and specialist research libraries, such as the National Trust libraries. It also includes a separate map search, which is handy if you're looking for cartographic material.

As well as showing you who holds a particular resource, Copac can also help you discover items and collections you may never have heard of.

Things to remember
  • WorldCat can search the collections of over 10,000 libraries across the world
  • Europeana searches digitised collections from Europe's museums, libraries and galleries
  • Use Copac to search collections of over 90 UK and Irish libraries

Now, let's take a look at how journals can help you with your research.


Last modified: Thursday, 23 February 2017, 12:27 PM