[Koha] Koha Issues - SUTRS - UKMARC-->MARC21
baljkas at mts.net
Mon May 30 10:45:04 NZST 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005 17:28 CDT
Hi, Stephen, Simon, et al.,
Just a quick response.
SUTRS = Simple Unstructured Text Record Syntax. From what I can gather, it is just one of many approaches to records that come from XML/Dublin Core/FRBR perspectives on cataloguing. Holding my tongue on that and moving on ...
Simon, give a try with the National Library of Canada AMICUS server. You have to sign-up, but it is free and they won't bother you unnecessarily. We have had fair success hitting Oxford and the BL on searches, so hopefully the transatlantic traffic will flow equally well for you viz. time-outs.
You can check AMICUS out at
with the link for self-registration to the Registered Service, which allows Z39.50 searching at
Depending on how many records you have to download, Simon, it may work better for you to do the cataloguing properly, from the traditional view, and search for each record individually via AMICUS (LC or other source). With AMICUS you can batch your results for later upload.
As for the British Library not using MARC standards, I don't know where that comes from, Stephen. I can certainly access MARC records that they are generating, although I have tended to do so via Oxford.
Anyway, Simon, you may want to navigate through the Bibliographic Services section of BL -- see
-- to find out more about what the heck is happening. On other pages, BL notes that the change to MARC21 has been shifted to early 2004, which might indicate it is currently underway.
This is what BL says on **their** page at
regarding the 'current status' of MARC at BL:
"In the autumn of 2000, the British Library undertook a major consultation into the future development and maintenance of the UKMARC format. The outcome revealed a significant majority among UK libraries and information agencies in favour of the adoption of the MARC 21 format in place of UKMARC. As a result, the Library has decided that MARC 21 will be the future standard for data creation and processing of its bibliographic records.
The British Library is planning to switch to MARC 21 in the summer of 2004, when the new Integrated Library System (ILS) is implemented.
During the consultation, a number of concerns were articulated about how the Library would implement MARC 21, and what practical consequences this might have for UK users of MARC. This paper endeavours to answer some of the questions raised, and describes developments up to September 2003.
2. Maintenance of the MARC 21 Format
The "Agreement for the development and publication of the MARC 21 format" was signed on July 8th 2002 by representatives of the Library of Congress, the National Library of Canada and the British Library."
So, I don't think it is correct that BL is using SUTRS, Stephen. It may be that we can't access their catalogue properly for some other reasons.
Anyway, Simon, I hope this helps. Give us a shout if you are still having problems locating good record sources.
Steven F. Baljkas
library tech at large
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
From: "Stephen Hedges" <shedges at skemotah.com>
Date: 2005/05/29 Sun PM 03:19:50 CDT
To: "Simon Oxwell" <soxwell at gmail.com>
CC: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
Subject: Re: [Koha] Koha Issues
Hi, Simon -
Sounds like you've got your Koha pretty well set up.
I think your British Library problem may be related to the fact that their
z3950 server doesn't use USMARC (MARC 21) or UNIMARC format for their
records -- they use SUTRS (anybody know what that is?) according to the
Index Data target list (http://www.indexdata.dk/targettest/b.php). The
Library of Congress isn't a very reliable server either, I'm afraid. You
might look through the target list for a different server to try.
As for autobarcode, I think that only works for borrowers and non-MARC
items. As soon as you start using MARC cataloging, I think you have to
assign your own barcodes.
Simon Oxwell said:
> My name is Simon and I've installed Koha 2.2.2b on my Debian Sarge box
> to help me keep track of my personal library. I've no need for the
> Budget system, so I've switched the 'acquistions' system parameter to
> 'Simple' and left the 'autobarcode' parameter set to the defualt of
> 'yes'. I've got the Z39.50 client running, and have populated the
> server table with entries for the Library of Congress server and the
> British National Library server. I've created a single Item Type of
> 'Fiction', code 'Fict' so the MARC Check.
> I'm also using apache 1.3.33, Perl 5.8.4, recent versions of the perl
> libraries and Mysql 4.0.24.
> I'm having a few problems with the Acquistions module, which could
> just be that I've either not understood or misconfigured something,
> but thought I should at least ask about them.
> 1. At the first Acqustion screen (acqui.simple/addbooks.pl), I enter
> an ISBN to search for, which takes me to Biblio Search Results
> (acqui.simple/isbnsearch.pl). Obviously, it hasn't found anything, so
> I click on 'Add New Biblio', which passes me to a blank Biblio screen
> (acqui.simple/addbiblio.pl). I notice that isbn I searched for is
> passed to addbiblio.pl on the command line, but the ISBN field (020)
> in the Biblio isn't autopopulated. Should it be?
> 2. I've been playing with the Z39.50 search. The z39.50 daemon logs
> tell me that it has found a record that matches my query for ISBN
> 1857988809 ('Second Variety' by Phillip K. Dick, Uk Edition) in the
> British National Library database, but the 'Z3950 Search Results'
> pop-up tell me 'Nothing Found'. I've used a few ISBN's that exist in
> the Library of Congress database (1857988809 isn't) and they show up
> in the Search Results just fine.
> 24600/14 : Processing isbn=1857988809 at BRITISH NATIONAL LIBRARY
> z3950cat.bl.uk:9909 BLAC MARC21 (1 forks)
> 24600/14 : 2 >>
> 24600/14 : creating and 24600/14 : working on results entry 20
> 24600/14 : connected to BRITISH NATIONAL LIBRARY
> 24600/14 : BRITISH NATIONAL LIBRARY : 1 records found, retrieving them
> (max 80)
> 24600/14 : BRITISH NATIONAL LIBRARY : z3950cat.bl.uk:9909 records
> retrieved 1 SPEED: 1
> 24600/14 : z3950cat.bl.uk:9909 search done.
> Puzzling. Is there anyway I can see what data is being retrived, but
> upping a debug level or something?
> 3. Once I've completed that Biblio record and set and item type for
> it, and clicked on 'Add Biblio', I get taken to the 'New Item' screen.
> At this point I can't add the item until I've filled in the 'Barcode'
> field, which is apparently mandatory. Now, I've got the system
> parameter 'autobarcode' set to 'yes'. Is this field supposed to be
> autopopulated with a barcode at this point? Do I need to generate some
> barcodes elsewhere in the system in first? What have I done wrong at
> this point, or have I misunderstood what 'autobarcode' does?
> 4. The 'Edit Biblio' and 'Duplicate' buttons on the 'Add Item'
> (acqui.simple/additem.pl) screen have urls that don't go anywhere.
> They link to /cgi-bin/koha/acqui.simple/acqui.simple/addbiblio.pl
> instead of /cgi-bin/koha/acqui.simple/addbiblio.pl
> Anyway, I think it's great that Koha exists and there is an open
> source alternative for a really good library management system and
> that my Koha problems have some really easy answers that I've
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