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A: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Frederick G. Kilgour Begins Development of OCLC


On July 5, 1967 three university presidents, three university vice- presidents, and four university library directors from the Ohio College Association met at Ohio State University in Columbus to found the non-profit Ohio College Library Center (OCLC)

"The group hired Frederick G. Kilgour to build a ‘cooperative, computerized network in which most, if not all, Ohio libraries would participate.’ Fred’s idea was to merge the newest information storage and retrieval system, the computer, with the oldest, the library. His vision was that this new computerized library would be active rather than passive, that people would no longer go to the library, but that the library would go to the people. Back in 1967, this was a rather revolutionary idea.

"The first step in this vision would be to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database. The network and database would streamline operations and control rising costs. It also would bring libraries together to work cooperatively to keep track of the world’s information for the benefit of researchers and scholars" (, accessed 03-07-2012).

After the bibliographical database expanded far beyond the state of Ohio it was renamed Online Computer Library Center, retaining the same initials.

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