Chapter 5. Cataloging

Table of Contents

1. Bibliographic Records
1.1. Adding Records
1.2. Adding Analytic Records
1.3. Editing Records
1.4. Duplicating Records
1.5. Merging Records
2. Item Records
2.1. Adding Items
2.2. Editing Items
2.3. Moving Items
2.4. Deleting Items
2.5. Item Specific Circulation History
3. Authorities
3.1. Adding Authorities
3.2. Searching Authorities
3.3. Editing Authorities
4. Cataloging Guides
4.1. Bibliographic Record Cataloging Cheat Sheet
4.2. Item/Holdings Record Cataloging Guide
4.3. Handling On Order Items and Holds

Before you start cataloging in Koha you're going to want to do some basic setup. Refer to the Implementation Checklist for a full list of these things. Most importantly you're going to want to make sure that your Frameworks are all defined the way you want. Once in the cataloging module you will not be able to add or remove fields and subfields so your frameworks must be ready before you start cataloging.

1. Bibliographic Records

In Koha the bibliographic record contains the main information related to the material. This includes things like the title, author, ISBN, etc. This information is stored in Koha in Marc (different flavors of Marc are supported in Koha). Once this information is saved, items or holdings can be attached.

1.1. Adding Records

Records can be added to Koha via original or copy cataloging. If you would like to catalog a record using a blank template

  • Click 'New Record'

    • Choose the framework you would like to base your record off of

If you want to catalog a record based on an existing record at another library

  • Click 'z39.50 Search'

    • Search for the item you would like to catalog

      • Tip

        If no results are found, try searching for fewer fields, not all Z39.50 targets can search all of the fields above.

    • Search targets can be altered by using the Z39.50 Admin area.

    • From the results you can view the MARC or Card view for the records or choose to Import them into Koha

      • In addition to the Import link to the right of each title, you can click on the title you're interested in and a menu will pop up with links to preview the record and import it

      • If you don't find the title you need in your Z39.50 search results you can click the 'Try Another Search' button at the bottom left of your results

Once you've opened a blank framework or imported a record via Z39.50 you will be presented with the form to continue cataloging

  • To expand a collapsed tag click on the tag description

  • To get help from the Library of Congress on a Marc tag click the question mark (?) to the right of each field number

    • If you feel that this clutters the screen you can hide the question marks by unchecking the box next to the 'Show MARC tag documentation links' note at the top right of the editor

  • Sometimes fields may not be editable due to the value in your BiblioAddsAuthorities system preference. If you have this preference set to not allow catalogers to type in fields controlled by authorities you may see a lock symbol to the left of the field.

    • If this icon appears you must click the icon to the right of the field to search for an existing authority.

    • From the results list click 'Choose authority' to bring that into your catalog record

  • To duplicate a field click on the 'repeat this tag' icon to the right of the tag

    • To move subfields in to the right order, click the up arrow to the left of the field

    • To duplicate a subfield click on the clone icon (to remove a copied field, click the delete clone icon) to the right of the field

    • To remove a subfield (if there is more than one of the same type), click the - (minus sign) to the right of the field

  • To use a plugin click on the icon to the right of the filed

    • Some fixed fields have editors that will change based on the material type you're cataloging (for example the 006 and the 008 fields)

  • Once you've finished, click the 'Save' button at the top and choose whether you want to save and view the bib record you have created or continue on to add/edit items attached to the record

    • If you are about to add a duplicate record to the system you will be warned before saving

1.2. Adding Analytic Records

Libraries sometimes make journal articles and articles within monographs and serials accessible to library patrons through analytics cataloging. Analytics cataloging creates separate bibliographic records for these articles, chapters, sections, etc. found within a larger resource such as a book, an article within a journal, newspaper or serial. In analytics cataloging, although a separate bib record is created for the title, it is not physically separated from the host item.  Learn more about Analytics in Chapter 13 of AACR2.

If you would like to catalog analytic records in Koha you first need to update the EasyAnalyticalRecords preference to 'Display.'

After cataloging your analytic record (see Adding Records for more on creating records) click 'Edit' from the normal view and choose to 'Link to Host Item'

This will prompt you to enter the barcode for the item this record should be linked to.

After entering the item's barcode and clicking 'Select' you will receive a confirmation message.

The record will now have the 773 field filled in properly to complete the link.

If you have linked an analytic record incorrectly you can remove that link by editing the item on the analytic record (not the host record). To do this, go to the analytic record and click the 'Edit' button and choose to 'Edit items'. To the left of each item you will see two options.

  • Clicking 'Edit in Host' will allow you to edit the item on the host record.

  • Clicking 'Delink' will remove the 773 field and the link between the analytic and the host.

To view all of the items tied to the host record, do a search for the record, click the Analytics tab on the left and the analytics tied to each barcode will be shown under the "Used in" column.


It is also possible to create analytic records from this screen by clicking on "Create Analytics"

You can also see the analytics attached to this record by clicking the 'Show Analytic' link towards the top of the record in the normal view.

1.3. Editing Records

To edit a record you can click 'Edit Biblio' from the search results on the cataloging page

or by clicking the Edit button on the Bibliographic Record and choosing 'Edit Record'

The record will open in the MARC editor

The alternative is to search via Z39.50 to overlay your record with a fuller record found at another library. You can do this by choosing 'Replace Record via Z39.50' from the Edit menu.

Once you choose that you will be brought to a Z39.50 search window to search other libraries for the record in question.

Once you have made your edits (via either method) you can click 'Save' at the top left of the editor.

1.4. Duplicating Records

Sometimes a copy of the record you need to catalog can't be found via Z39.50. In these cases you can create a duplicate of similar record and edit the necessary pieces to create a new record. To duplicate an existing record click 'Edit as New (Duplicate)' from the Edit menu on the Bibliographic Record

This will open a new MARC record with the fields filled in with the values from the original Bibliographic Record.

1.5. Merging Records

If you would like to merge together multiple records you can do that via the Lists tool. Learn more here.