Our goal is to provide a page on the web for every book ever published.
At its heart, Open Library is a catalog. The project began in November 2007 and has been inhaling catalog records from some of the biggest libraries in the world ever since. We have well over 20 million edition records online, provide access to 1.7 million scanned versions of books, and link to external sources like WorldCat and Amazon when we can. The secondary goal is to get you as close to the actual document you're looking for as we can, whether that is a scanned version courtesy of the Internet Archive, or a link to Powell's where you can purchase your own copy.
On a slightly more technical note, apart from that page being an online representation of a library catalog card, Open Library also gives people a URI for a work, an edition or author or other book-ish resource that can be used as a pointer and connector for information about books; a Uniform Resource Identifier indeed.
To create your Open Library digital library card account, click the “sign up” link at the top right corner of our home page, openlibrary.org. You will be prompted to enter the following information:
Full name: (i.e. Jane Doe)
Username (i.e. janeqdoe)
Password: (your choice)
Email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click “sign up” when you are finished. You will receive an email requesting verification of your account. Click the link in the email and you will now be able to sign in and start using Open Library.
If you have trouble with the signup process please see our Troubleshooting section.
Once you are registered, click the “log in” link at the top right corner of any page. Enter your username and password. Your name will now appear as a link in the top right corner. Click on the link to display a drop-down menu; here you can edit your Profile, manage your Loans, manage the Lists you create, edit your Settings, or Log Out.