So OCLC’s WorldCat Registry is a nice new addition to OCLCs growing list of web services. Do a search for your library and take a look at the URL: aye that’s right it’s SRU. In fact do a view source on the results page and you’ll see an SRU response in XML–the HTML is being rendered with client side XSLT.
If you drill into a particular institution you’ll see a pleasantly cool uri:
…which would serve nicely as an identifier for the Browne Popular Culture Library. The institution pages are HTML instead of XML–however there is a link to an XML representation:
This URL isn’t bad but it would be rather nice if the former could return XML if the Accept: header had text/xml slotted before text/html. Yeah, I did check:
curl -I "Accept: text/xml" http://worldcat.org/registry/Institutions/89073
It’s inspiring to see OCLC going the extra mile to make their new services have web friendly machine APIs.
Update: for deeper analysis check out Pete Johnston’s WorldCat Institution Registry and Identifiers. He has some great points on the use of identifiers in the xml responses.