Melvyl is the name of the online catalog of the University of California's library system. The Melvyl union catalog is produced by the California Digital Library — a unit within the department of Academic Planning, Programs, and Coordination at the UC Office of the President in downtown Oakland, California. Melvyl is named after Melvil Dewey, the library pioneer who invented the Dewey Decimal System. Melvyl is now supported by the OCLC's WorldCat Local platform.


The Melvyl database contains over 30 million records from the:

  • ten UC campuses,
  • two UC Library storage facilities, the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) and the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF),
  • and the Center for Research Libraries.

Melvyl is a registered trademark owned by the Regents of the University of California.


Melvyl began as a library automation system in 1977. Merging MARC records from the UC campuses into a union catalog was first done in a microfiche format. Online access began in 1980 as a prototype for library staff. In 1981, library patrons were able to access an online electronic catalog of UC library books using a computer terminal. [1] At one point, the Division of Library Automation maintained their own computer network that connected all the UC campuses, including some satellite links. Melvyl ran on a mainframe computer, and the UC Division of Library Automation did development work to implement TCP/IP in order to provide telnet access. A world wide web version was also developed.

The mainframe system, retired in 2003, was replaced using commercial software from the integrated library system vendor Ex Libris. A legacy telnet mode retired in 2007.

The Ex Libris version was retired in June 2011 and Melvyl is now supported by OCLC's WorldCat Local platform.


  1. ^ Salmon, Steve. First-Hand: the Birth of MELVYL. IEEE Global History Network. [1]

External links

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