Bibliographic record: characters with accents are not displayed correctly

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After using the “Stage MARC record for import” tool, you may have noticed unusual characters.


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  • � la recherche du p�re No�l / texte et illustrations de Walko ; adaptation fran�aise de Cathy Boniver.
  • L’�et�e / Mari Schuh. ——- (L’été)

These errors occur when you are trying to import a record file with the wrong encoding characters format.

The character encoding format tells how the system should read and display characters. When it is not set properly, all special and diacritics characters are not displayed correctly. Therefore, if the record file contains special characters (e.g. French records with accented characters), select the appropriate encoding character format.

By default, Koha assume the UTF-8 format. However, if you notice unusual characters, try a different format.

If the record is still in the “Staged MARC record management” tool (aka “Biblio in reservoir”)

Cancel the import and select a different encoding character format.

In general, “MARC 8” format can fix these problems.

If you cannot find the record in the “Staged MARC record management” tool

There are 2 ways to modify the record:

Option 1) Download a new record from Z39.50 and replace the faulty record

  1. Search the faulty record in the catalog
  2. Click on “Edit” and select “Replace record via Z39.50”
  3. Click on “Search Z39.50/SRU”
  4. Click on “OK” (duplicate warning message)
  5. Search by a ISBN number
  6. Click on “Action” and select “Import”
  7. Modify the record (if necessary)
  8. Click on “Save”

Option 2) Import and merge a new record

  1. Create/ Import the record (same way you would catalog a new record)
  2. Go to “Cataloging” module
  3. Search the 2 records with a “Catalog Search”
  4. Select the 2 records
  5. Click on “Merge selected”
  6. Select the new record (without character errors) as primary record
  7. Click on “Next”
  8. Select each record fields you want to keep (see the preview of the future record on the right hand side, called “Destination record”)
  9. Click on “Merge”

For more information about merging records, please consult this: Merging bibliographic item records

Once merged, only the bibliographic information is modified.

Acquisition and item details (e.g. barcode, checkout history, item cost, etc.) are all saved in the merged record.

See also:

Merging bibliographic item records

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