4. Catalog Administration

Set these controls before you start cataloging on your Koha system.

4.1. MARC Bibliographic Frameworks

Think of Frameworks as templates for creating new bibliographic records. Koha comes with some predefined frameworks that can be edited or deleted, and librarians can create their own frameworks for content specific to their libraries.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > MARC Bibliographic Frameworks


Do not delete or edit the Default Framework since this will cause problems with your cataloging records - always create a new template based on the Default Framework, or alter the other Frameworks.

After clicking the 'MARC structure' link to the right of each framework you can decide how many fields you want to see on one screen by using the pagination options at the top of the table.

4.1.1. Add New Framework

To add a new framework

  • Click 'New Framework'

    • Enter a code of 4 or fewer characters

    • Use the Description field to enter a more detailed definition of your framework

  • Click 'Submit'

  • Once your Framework is added click 'MARC structure' to the right of it on the list of Frameworks

    • You will be asked to choose a Framework to base your new Framework off of, this will make it easier than starting from scratch

  • Once your Framework appears on the screen you can edit or delete each field by following the instructions for editing subfields

4.1.2. Edit Existing Frameworks

Clicking 'Edit' to the right of a Framework will only allow you to edit the Description for the Framework:

To make edits to the fields associated with the Framework you must first click 'MARC Structure' and then follow the instructions for editing subfields

4.1.3. Add subfields to Frameworks

To add a field to a Framework click the 'New Tag' button at the top of the Framework definition

This will open up a blank form for entering MARC field data

Enter the information about your new tag:

  • The 'Tag' is the MARC field number

  • The 'Label for lib' is the text that will appear in the staff client when in the cataloging module

  • The 'Label for OPAC' is the text that will appear in the OPAC when viewing the MARC version of the record

  • If this field can be repeated, check the 'Repeatable' box

  • If this field is mandatory, check the 'Mandatory' box

  • If you want this field to be a pull down with limited possible answers, choose which 'Authorized value' list you want to use

When you're finished, click 'Save Changes' and you will be presented with your new field

To the right of the new field is a link to 'Subfields,' you will need to add subfields before this tag will appear in your MARC editor. The process of entering the settings for the new subfield is the same as those found in the editing subfields in frameworks section of this manual.

4.1.4. Edit Framework Subfields

Frameworks are made up of MARC fields and subfields. To make edits to most Frameworks you must edit the fields and subfields. Clicking 'Edit' to the right of each subfield will allow you to make changes to the text associated with the field

  • Each field has a tag (which is the MARC tag)

    • The 'Label for lib' is what will show in the staff client if you have advancedMARCeditor set to display labels

    • The 'Label for OPAC' is what will show on the MARC view in the OPAC

    • If you check 'Repeatable' then the field will have a plus sign next to it allowing you to add multiples of that tag

    • If you check 'Mandatory' the record will not be allowed to save unless you have a value assigned to this tag

    • 'Authorized value' is where you define an authorized value that your catalogers can choose from a pull down to fill this field in

To edit the subfields associated with the tag, click 'Subfields' to the right of the tag on the 'MARC Structure' listing

  • From the list of subfields you can click 'Delete' to the right of each to delete the subfields

  • To edit the subfields click 'Edit Subfields'

  • For each subfield you can set the following values

    • Text for librarian

      • what appears before the subfield in the librarian interface

    • Text for OPAC

      • what appears before the field in the OPAC.

        • If left empty, the text for librarian is used instead

    • Repeatable

      • the field will have a plus sign next to it allowing you to add multiples of that tag

    • Mandatory

      • the record will not be allowed to save unless you have a value assigned to this tag

    • Managed in tab

      • defines the tab where the subfield is shown. All subfields of a given field must be in the same tab or ignored. Ignore means that the subfield is not managed.

    • Default value

      • defines what you want to appear in the field by default, this will be editable, but it saves time if you use the same note over and over or the same value in a field often.

    • hidden

      • allows you to select from 19 possible visibility conditions, 17 of which are implemented. They are the following:

        • -9 => Future use

        • -8 => Flag

        • -7 => OPAC !Intranet !Editor Collapsed

        • -6 => OPAC Intranet !Editor !Collapsed

        • -5 => OPAC Intranet !Editor Collapsed

        • -4 => OPAC !Intranet !Editor !Collapsed

        • -3 => OPAC !Intranet Editor Collapsed

        • -2 => OPAC !Intranet Editor !Collapsed

        • -1 => OPAC Intranet Editor Collapsed

        • 0 => OPAC Intranet Editor !Collapsed

        • 1 => !OPAC Intranet Editor Collapsed

        • 2 => !OPAC !Intranet Editor !Collapsed

        • 3 => !OPAC !Intranet Editor Collapsed

        • 4 => !OPAC Intranet Editor !Collapsed

        • 5 => !OPAC !Intranet !Editor Collapsed

        • 6 => !OPAC Intranet !Editor !Collapsed

        • 7 => !OPAC Intranet !Editor Collapsed

        • 8 => !OPAC !Intranet !Editor !Collapsed

        • 9 => Future use • URL : if checked, the subfield is an URL, and can be clicked

      • ( ! means 'not visible' or in the case of Collapsed 'not Collapsed')

    • Is a URL

      • if checked, it means that the subfield is a URL and can be clicked

    • Link

      • If you enter a field/subfield here (200b), a link appears after the subfield in the MARC Detail view. This view is present only in the staff client, not the OPAC. If the librarian clicks on the link, a search is done on the database for the field/subfield with the same value. This can be used for 2 main topics :

        • on a field like author (200f in UNIMARC), put 200f here, you will be able to see all bib records with the same author.

        • on a field that is a link (4xx) to reach another bib record. For example, put 011a in 464$x, will find the serials that are with this ISSN.

      • Warning

        This value should not change after data has been added to your catalog

    • Koha link

      • Koha is multi-MARC compliant. So, it does not know what the 245$a means, neither what 200$f (those 2 fields being both the title in MARC21 and UNIMARC). So, in this list you can "map" a MARC subfield to its meaning. Koha constantly maintains consistency between a subfield and its meaning. When the user want to search on "title", this link is used to find what is searched (245 if you're MARC21, 200 if you're UNIMARC).

    • Authorized value

      • means the value cannot by typed by the librarian, but must be chosen from a pull down generated by the authorized value list

      • In the example above, the 504a field will show the MARC504 Authorized Values when cataloging

    • Thesaurus

      • means that the value is not free text, but must be searched in the authority/thesaurus of the selected category

    • Plugin

      • means the value is calculated or managed by a plugin. Plugins can do almost anything.

      • For example, in UNIMARC there are plugins for every 1xx fields that are coded fields. The plugin is a huge help for cataloger ! There are also two plugins (unimarc_plugin_210c and unimarc_plugin_225a that can "magically" find the editor from an ISBN, and the collection list for the editor)

  • To save your changes simply click the 'Save Changes' button at the top of the screen

4.1.5. Import/Export Frameworks

Next to each framework is a link to either import or export the framework. Export Framework

To export a framework simply click the 'Export' link to the right of framework title.

When you click 'Export' you will be prompted to choose what format to export the file in.

A framework exported this way can be imported into any other Koha installation using the import framework option. Import Framework

An easy way to create a new framework is to import it from another Koha database. To import a framework you first need to create a new framework. Once you have that framework, click 'Import' to the right of the new framework.

You will be prompted to find a file on your computer to import into the framework.

You will be asked to confirm your actions before the file is imported.

As your file is uploaded you will see an image that will confirm that the system is working.

Once your import is complete you will be brought to the framework edit tool where you can make any changes you need to the framework you imported.

4.2. Koha to MARC Mapping

While Koha stores the entire MARC record, it also stores common fields for easy access in various tables in the database. Koha to MARC Mapping is used to tell Koha where to find these values in the MARC record. In many cases you will not have to change the default values set by in this tool on installation, but it is important to know that the tool is here and can be used at any time.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > Koha to MARC Mapping

The Koha to MARC Mapping page offers you the option of choosing from one of three tables in the database to assign values to.

After choosing the table you would like to view, click 'OK.' To edit any mapping click on the 'Koha Filed' or the 'Edit' link.

Choose which MARC field you would like to map to this Koha Field and click the 'OK' button. If you would like to clear all mappings, click the 'Click to "Unmap"' button.


At this time you can map only 1 MARC field to 1 Koha field. This means that you won't be able to map both the 100a and the 700a to the author field, you need to choose one or the other.

4.3. Keywords to MARC Mapping

This tool will allow you to map MARC fields to a set of predefined keywords.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > Keywords to MARC Mapping

At this time the only keyword in use is 'subtitle.'

Using this tool you can define what MARC field prints to the detail screen of the bibliographic record using keywords. The following example will use the subtitle field.

Using the Framework pull down menu, choose the Framework you would like to apply this rule to. For example, the subtitle for books can be found in the 245$b field.

However the subtitle for DVDs appears in 245$p

Using this tool you can tell Koha to print the right field as the subtitle when viewing the bibliographic record in the OPAC.

This tool can be used to chain together pieces of the record as well. If you want the series number to show in the title on your search results you simply have to map 490 $v to 'subtitle' along with the 245 $b.


Chain together the fields you want to show after the item title in the order in which you want them to appear.

Future developments will include additional keyword assigned fields.

4.4. MARC Bibliographic Framework Test

Checks the MARC structure.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > MARC Bibliographic Framework Test

If you change your MARC Bibliographic framework it's recommended that you run this tool to test for errors in your definition.

4.5. Authority Types

Authority Types are basically MARC Frameworks for Authority records and because of that they follow the same editing rules found in the MARC Bibliographic Frameworks section of this manual. Koha comes with many of the necessary Authority frameworks already installed. To learn how to add and edit Authority Types, simply review the MARC Bibliographic Frameworks section of this manual.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > Authority Types

4.6. Classification Sources

Savitra Sirohi

Nucsoft OSS Labs

Nicole C. Engard

Fixed typos, changed content where necessary and added new screenshots. 

August 2010

Source of classification or shelving scheme is an Authorized Values category that is mapped to field 942$2 in Koha's MARC Bibliographic frameworks.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > Classification sources

Commonly used values of this field are:

  • ddc - Dewey Decimal Classification

  • lcc - Library of Congress Classification

If you chose to install classification sources during Koha's installation, you would see other values too:

  • ANSCR (sound recordings)

  • SuDOC classification

  • Universal Decimal Classification

  • Other/Generic Classification

4.6.1. Adding/Editing Classification Sources

You can add your own source of classification by using the New Classification Source button. To edit use the Edit link.

When creating or editing:

  • You will need to enter a code and a description.

  • Check the 'Source in use?' checkbox if you want the value to appear in the drop down list for this category.

  • Select the appropriate filing rule from the drop down list.

4.6.2. Classification Filing Rules

Filing rules determine the order in which items are placed on shelves.

Values that are pre-configured in Koha are:

  • Dewey

  • LCC

  • Generic

Filing rules are mapped to Classification sources. You can setup new filing rules by using the New Filing Rule button. To edit use the Edit link.

When creating or editing:

  • Enter a code and a description

  • Choose an appropriate filing routine - dewey, generic or lcc

4.7. Record Matching Rules

Record matching rules are used when importing MARC records into Koha.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Catalog > Record Matching Rules

The rules that you set up here will be referenced with you Stage MARC Records for Import.

To create a new matching rule :

  • Click 'New Record Matching Rule'

    • Choose a unique name and enter it in the 'Matching rule code' field

    • 'Description' can be anything you want to make it clear to you what rule you're picking

    • 'Match threshold' - The total number of 'points' a biblio must earn to be considered a 'match'

    • Match points are set up to determine what fields to match on

    • 'Search index' can be found by looking at the ccl.properties file on your system which tells the zebra indexing what data to search for in the MARC data".

    • 'Score' - The number of 'points' a match on this field is worth. If the sum of each score is greater than the match threshold, the incoming record is a match to the existing record

    • Enter the MARC tag you want to match on in the 'Tag' field

    • Enter the MARC tag subfield you want to match on in the 'Subfields' field

    • 'Offset' - For use with control fields, 001-009

    • 'Length' - For use with control fields, 001-009

    • Koha only has one 'Normalization rule' that removes extra characters such as commas and semicolons. The value you enter in this field is irrelevant to the normalization process.

    • 'Required match checks' - ??

4.7.1. Sample Record Matching Rule: Control Number

  • Match threshold: 100

  • Matchpoints (just the one):

  • Search index: Control-number

  • Score: 101

  • Tag: 001

    • Note

      this field is for the control number assigned by the organization creating, using, or distributing the record

  • Subfields: a

  • Offset: 0

  • Length: 0

  • Normalization rule: Control-number

  • Required Match checks: none (remove the blank one)