Two main categories of art publication are included in the database: international exhibition catalogues published since the early 1960s, and books issued by American trade and university presses since 1992.
Exhibition catalogues
Records for some 65,000 exhibition and collection catalogues are presented in the database, including virtually all of the titles that have been made available over the years through Worldwide's approval plan program. Individually selected on the basis of their value as art resources from the thousands of catalogues that we examine each year, these titles include a great majority of the most significant catalogues published over the past five decades by Western European and North American institutions, along with a vast array of noteworthy titles from museums in Australia, Asia, Scandinavia, and other parts of the world. Catalogues from private galleries are selectively represented.
Art books from American trade and university presses
Beginning with 1992 imprints, some 60,000 books published or distributed by American trade and university presses have been made available through Worldwide as part of our approval plan and title-by-title order services. Records for all of these titles are included in the database, the selection primarily emphasizing publications of significance to academic programs.
Entries for museum and gallery publications consist of full title (followed by our English-language translation of each foreign-language title where appropriate); author or editor where appropriate; first exhibiting institution and the year of exhibition; year of publication (if different from year of exhibition); organizer of the exhibition and publisher of the catalogue (if different from first exhibiting institution); pagination; number of illustrations and dimensions (height preceding width); LCCN; ISBN; and language of text.
Entries for books unrelated to exhibitions follow a similar format, omitting of course the exhibition details. North American distributors are frequently cited in our bibliographic records even if the distributor's name is not imprinted; this information is provided primarily for the benefit of libraries that may have approval plans with other vendors besides Worldwide, and the information is offered to alert them to titles that they might reasonably expect to be excluded or supplied by another vendor.
Note: our translations of foreign-language titles are offered simply to assist librarians who may be charged with making acquisition decisions for materials in languages outside their area of expertise or fluency; admittedly, in some cases our title translations may be somewhat inelegant or awkwardly too literal, especially in cases where the original title employs an idiom or involves word play that does not translate easily into English. In instances where the exhibitor has provided an English translation of the title, either in press releases or within the catalogue text itself, we generally respect that translation, even if it is not particularly idiomatic in English. If the title page is bilingual in English and another language, then we of course treat the bilingual title as the title proper, and have no need to introduce any other translation.
Nearly 35,000 titles included in the database are currently in stock and available for immediate shipment. Although daily changes in our holdings make it impossible to guarantee the immediate availability of individual titles, most titles listed as available can be supplied immediately or with minimal delay if they must be restocked.
If a title is published in more than one edition, Worldwide will stock the English-text, hardcover version whenever possible. Trade and university press titles are offered at the publishers' list prices, with library discounts indicated by the symbols t (20%) and x (10%). Prices for all other titles are set at the lowest possible levels for the benefit of our library clients but necessarily reflect the varied discounts and sales terms being offered to booksellers by publishers and distributors.
Many forthcoming titles are also included in the database and can be ordered for delivery upon release. Because the bibliographic data for these titles and their projected prices and dates of publication are based on information provided by the publishers, we cannot guarantee their accuracy.
Records for titles that are out of print (OP), temporarily out of stock (TOS) or out of stock indefinitely (OSI) have been retained in the database for their reference and bibliographic value. Library orders are accepted for titles that are flagged as temporarily out of stock or out of stock indefinitely; though we cannot guarantee price or availability of out-of-stock titles, we will gladly attempt to restock these titles for libraries as requested. We regret, however, that we cannot accept orders from non-library customers for titles that are flagged as out of stock, and we cannot accept orders for titles that are flagged as OP.
Our website offers a number of options to display, print, or export the records in our database. One such option is to create and download batches of vendor records in MARC-format that can be imported into any integrated library system for further processing.
There are two options to create such records: 
  1. Through the Multiple Item/ISBN Search page. Simply enter or paste a list of ISBNs or Worldwide item numbers into the appropriate column and click the Download as MARC button. When prompted, save the file to your computer. 
  2. Use our Advanced Search page or the quick search field on the homepage to identify titles of interest, and then add them to the shopping cart. Once all selections have been made, proceed to the checkout page to review the selections and if desired to add individual purchase order numbers to each title (in which case the PO numbers will be included in field 935a when the records in MARC format are created). To complete the process, simply click the Download MARC Records button and follow the prompts. Please note this process may take several seconds to complete.

    After generating a batch of MARC records, you can either continue with the checkout process to submit the order electronically to Worldwide Books, or abandon the checkout process at that stage and simply use the downloaded records to populate record fields in your integrated library system, submitting your orders to Worldwide at a later time by mail, e-mail or ftp.

    CAUTION: If after downloading the MARC records you choose not to complete the checkout process, please note that your order will not be submitted electronically to Worldwide, and the contents of your cart will not be saved. 

  • Obtaining vendor records in MARC format from Worldwide Books as part of an approval plan or by generating the records through our website does not require a user account or the installation of any proprietary software. 
  • The records can be imported into any integrated library system, such as Millennium or Voyager. 
  • MARC records enhanced with invoice details are currently only available to approval-plan subscribers.
  • Access to vendor records in MARC format through the Worldwide Books website is unrestricted: any user may download the records, even without placing a web order. 
  • The vendor records in MARC format available through Worldwide do not include full cataloging, and the basic bibliographic information contained in them may be incomplete or subject to change, especially for records describing forthcoming or newly released publications. 
  • The MARC records available from our website are generated using MarcEdit, with the kind permission of its author, Terry Reese.

Field Mapping


A typical vendor record in MARC format provided by Worldwide Books through the website is mapped as follows:

=001  $aWorldwide Books Item Number 

=008  13 [system generated] 

=020  \\$aISBN (edition) 

=037  \\$aWorldwide Books Item Number$bWorldwide Books 

=040  \\$aNyItWB$cNyItWB 

=100  1\$aAuthor alpha 

=245  0\$aTitle$cAuthor(s) 

=260  \\$bPublisher/Exhibition venue/Organizer$cYear of publication.

=300  \\$aPage/Ill. count$cDimensions 

=546  \\$aLanguage notes 

=653  11$aArtist alpha

=935  \\$aPurchase order number 

=980  \\$bPrice$eDiscounted price


Please note that the information contained in these records is drawn directly from our vendor records and does not include full cataloging. The basic bibliographic information contained in them may be incomplete or subject to change, especially for records describing forthcoming or newly released publications.