MARC Record Tutorial

B W Johnson

How to Get A Ruddy Record into the Sodding Computer Enyway Warning: This page looks formidable by virtue of it's length, but once you've copped onto the hows, wheres, and whats of it, you'll be just grand. That, and you'll have the ability to get a bibliographic record into your machine in a minute or so.

An overview of what you're actually doing, no matter what catalogue you're using.

Essentially, there are two parts to any copy cataloguing operation, which is what you're on about now.

The first part involves finding that wily creature the MARC record.

(A fine example of said beast )

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Take your time when you search to ensure you get a record that's as in depth as you want, since there are like to be many acceptable alternatives. When you're satisfied at long last, you'll take an electronic copy of the one you want.

The second part involves sticking your local junk (or perhaps taking someone else's erroneous local junk away) so that the record takes the shape you want it to for your evil purposes.

That is again: Step 1 Find and Copy, Step 2 Import and Edit. Got it? I've been perpetually amazed at how many folks have no idea that they can get their very own MARC records for free from a reliable source. We generate these dealies, so it only follows we ought be able to easily share em. This forces me to start from the very beginning and walk you through how to export someone else's MARC record for one of your items.

Let's say that you've a copy of Bleak House in your hands. It's a widely held awful title, so there's a good chance you've sullied your hands with it at some point. You have no idea where to begin.

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Right. Why don't you boot on over to AMICUS, the National Library of Canada? As you can see, there's a big blue button smack in the middle of the page that reads Search AMICUS click it.

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Using the Dropdown Menu on the left, I've selected a Title Browse. In the Text Box on the right, type in "Bleak House". When you're done, click Submit.

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Oh look, stuff! Miraculous, eh? Most of us have seen this sort of menu a million times when we go through our own catalogues, so this is like to be routine for you. If it's not, that's not a big deal, because it will be soon.

Go ahead and pick one of the records, so that you can take a closer look. I ended up selecting this one, since it was closest to what I wanted.

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We'll see that the full record shows up rather briefly in this display, which is just peachy. You can always add things that don't appear later on.

Click the Save button to continue on.

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Once you save a record, it goes into a list. You can populate this with more than one record if you like, but for our purposes, I just stuck Bleak house in me cart and bolted for the door.

Despite the fact that the catalogue highlights all of the stuff to either Display and Print or E Mail, you want to hit the Download button on the lower left or upper left. Either will do the trick. If you've a long list, you might only be able to see the lower or upper button, so it's an interface thing designed to save you time.

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Pressing that will take you to this screen.

Here, I've confirmation that the computer did in fact get me list, and that it is in fact in MARC format, and that yes, at long last, that particular record shall be yours.

Redundantly, hit Download again.

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Now things are going to get a little sideways, since your particular computer will prompt you for where you want to put this file. It will show up in your downloads folder, which may be called downloads like mine, or it might show up on your desktop, or wherever else you tell it to go. Just remember that this one is called outputs-1.

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Because I'm super thorough, I like to check and make sure that what I just downloaded actually has some sort of information in it. Sometimes wonky catalogues will give you cheap tawdry data that you don't want anywhere near your nice silck Koha DB. If you open your file and see gobbledee gook like this, you're good to go.

Cheer up! You're halfway there! Now that you've found your record, you need to import it into Koha.

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So trek on over to the login screen.

Input your username and password in the text boxes and then hit Login>> just beneath them to access Koha's Staff Client.

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From here, select Tools on the right hand lower side of the page.

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Select Stage MARC Records For Import the first option of the Centre column of the page, which is hiding under the search box.

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This will bring you to the Stage MARC Records For Import screen.

You've to do a bunch of stuff here.

First, you've to find the file that has your data. In our case, it's that outputs-1 file. You'll find that certain catalogues tend to name files in a certain fashion. Over time, you can become acquainted with which catalogues an item comes from just by the title of this file.

So, click on Choose File select outputs-1

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and click on Upload file.

You'll be able to see if you were successful right away.

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You can add a note, but that is optional.

Be sure to have your MARC flavour the way you want it. If multiple people are working with you, you might want to have the system check for more records like the one you just uploaded. The next drop down will enable you to either look or not bother. I switched mine to check against the ISBN field, though that won't work well for older materials.

The one after that allows you to select what will happen if you did care about finding a match. One of the choices is to overwrite the previous bibliographic record with the one you just fetched, which isn't the best decision, so I've selected Ignore incoming record (its items may still be processed) instead.

The third dropdown is what will happen if there aren't any records in the reservoir, and is set to Add incoming record by default.

When you're all through, hit Stage for import to get on with it.

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You'll find yourself at another confirmation page. This tells you that yes There's only 1 record There's no error in it's MARC diction 1 record was processed Naught matched in the database And there weren't any miscellaneous orphans running about.

Click the tiny blue Manage staged records to get on with it.

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This screen will laboriously tell you what you already know. Just hit Complete import to continue.

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This page is your last chance to not load items into Koha, but why would you want to deny them at this stage?

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You'll need to head over to Cataloguing >> Add books to actually work on your record.

At the very bottom, you'll see our wayward Bleak house is in fact in the reservoir. Click on Add biblio to the right of the title to move on.

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I like to flip on over to the tab containing the Title fields to ensure that the thing I'm working on is actually what the computer thinks I'm working on.

Note that blue hyperlinked elipsis to the right of Charles' name. That's an authorised heading link. It's a neat way to check that things are up to snuff and that you don't have Charles Dickens Dickens, Charles and Dickens, Charles. lurking in your catalogue. Uniformity where it's warranted will help your catalogue stay neat and easy for your patrons to use. After you're done adding fields that might be missing by clicking the + sign next to a field, hit Save at the upper left under Add MARC Record.

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That will bring you to the end of the road for this MARC Record! Hooray! This used to be a lot simpler to deal with. Really, you needs ensure that the p for Piece designation (barcode) is filled in with the item's barcode. that it's on the c - shelving location that you want it to be on and that y Koha Itemtype reflects what it is you're holding in your hand as well as the call number is there so you know where to find it next. The dropdowns for branch are important to multibranch systems so stuff gets back to the right location.

Clicking Add item will put this record into your catalogue. You can then access the OPAC to ensure that everything you thought you put in there shows up the way you want it to.

That's it! If you need help feel free to contact me at

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