Migrating data from an Alexandria library system to Koha

Started by Coast Mountains School District

  1. Export MARC data from Alexandria system
  2. Edit bulkmarcimport.pl to set the $branchname variable if your branch code is other than 'MAIN'
  3. Run bulkmarcimport.pl on this file, redirecting stdout and stderr to files
    • bulkmarcimport.pl kksexport.mrc >import.out 2>import.err
    • You may need to run this script several times before you get the import all figured out. Each time you run it, use the instructions at the bottom of this page to clear out the old bibliographic data from your Koha database.
  4. The standard output of bulkmarcimport.pl will be a human readable version of the MARC data.
  5. Decide how the existing data is going to map to Koha's item types
    • Koha uses itemtypes to differentiate things like Fiction, Non-Fiction, CDs, CDROMs, Large Print, etc.
    • In my data, the 245 h marc subfield contained info like [book], [magazines], [cd], [computer disks], [puzzle] etc. so this was a good place to grab some itemtype info.
    • I also used the 008 fixed length data elements field to grab Literary Form (0 for non-fiction, 1 for fiction, etc.), target audience (b for primary, j for juvenile etc.)
  6. Modify bulkmarcimport.pl to generate appropriate item types
    • This can be tricky if you are not familiar with perl
    • Might be nice to add some templates to bulkmarcimport.pl to assist in this task
    • Would also be nice if bulkmarcimport.pl could step through each record and show what would be done before actually committing changes to the database
  7. You may also need to edit your itemtypes to add or remove itemtypes according to your needs.
    • From the intranet interface, click on the “Parameters” graphic and then click on the Item types link.


  1. I populate my borrowers database from the same user database that is used on the school servers
  2. I have a custom script that runs nightly that updates the Koha borrower database automatically

Clearing all bibliographic data out of Koha between import attempts

WARNING!!: These instructions are dangerous!! You should only do this on a clean Koha system where you are testing importing of MARC records from another library system. Do _NOT_ do this on a system which already has data stored in it. These instructions will delete ALL bibliographic and holdings data from the Koha database.

  1. Connect to your Koha database
    • mysql Koha -ukohaadmin -pmypassword
    • (get your koha userid and password from the /etc/koha.conf file)
  2. Delete all of the bibliographic data ←- warning, very dangerous!
    • delete from biblio;
    • delete from bibliosubtitle;
    • delete from bibliosubject;
    • delete from biblioitems;
    • delete from items;
cmsdconversion.txt · Last modified: 2009/11/21 15:33 by pabloab
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