[Koha] Publication date fields in Koha

Hernandez, Heather heather_hernandez at nps.gov
Fri Apr 3 10:03:15 NZDT 2015

Hi, Steve--

I can chime in a bit about the 260 and 264 fields.  The 264 field is new,
and came along with RDA--records that were cataloged according to previous
rules (AACR2, etc.) would have a 260 field.  So, yes, ideally, a bib record
has either a 260 or a 264 field, but not both.

I don't think you need to be worried--a lot of records out there are older
records, cataloged before RDA was implemented, and they have perfectly
formatted and valid 260 fields, and a lot of libraries are not cataloging
according to RDA, so they are still creating records with perfectly
formatted and valid 260 fields.  So records will probably continue to use
one or the other field for some time.

The copyright date in a pre-RDA record should be in a 260 $c, and in an RDA
record should be in a 264 _4 $c.  How Koha then handles these fields &
comes up with the display is a bit beyond me, though!

So, really, as long as there are records cataloged according to different
cataloging rules in the MARC21 format, which there probably always will be,
then we will have records using either a 260s or 264s.  It's not a simple
thing to just map data from 260s into 264s, since the 264 field must have a
second indicator set to indicate the type of information (e.g., production,
publication, distribution, copyright notice, etc.), and this isn't always
evident from looking at the 260--so most libraries will be maintaining
databases with older records using 260s and newer ones using 264s for some

So it sounds to me like your database is fine, having records using either
the 260 or the 264!

I hope this helps!

Heather Hernandez
Technical Services Librarian
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Research Center
415-561-7032, heather_hernandez at nps.gov

"The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail."--Gustaf Lindborg

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