Skip to main content
OCLC Support

About importing bibliographic records

Find an overview of how to import bibliographic records in Connexion client.


An import file can contain both bibliographic and authority records. The following table gives more details about import files.

Property Requirements and notes
File type Import files must be ASCII (plain text) files–for example, with file extension *.dat or *.mrc–that contain records in one of these standards: OCLC-MARC or MARC 21 or, for bibliographic records only, Dublin Core Qualified,Dublin Core Simple, or MARC XML.

 Caution: If you try to import from a non-MARC file, or a non- Dublin Core file (Qualified or Simple), or MARC XML–for example, a file with the extension *.doc, *.xls, *.mdb, *.msg,
*.gif, *.jpeg, or *.tif)–Connexion displays an error message.
Record standard and character set Record standard
Select the MARC 21 (default), Dublin Core Qualified, Dublin Core Simple, or MARC XML record standard for importing.

Character set
Select the MARC-8 (default) or UTF-8 Unicode character set. Go to File > Import Records and click Record Characteristics. For Dublin Core record standards, only UTF-8 Unicode can be selected.
Size No prescribed maximum for file size (KB or MB).

The maximum number of records you can import depends on the number of records currently in your bibliographic or authority save file. You can import to your online or local save file, which can each contain a maximum of 9,999 records.
Location Hard disk or network drive connected to local workstation.

Why import bibliographic records?

  • Add bibliographic records created in your library's local system to WorldCat.
  • Process bibliographic records from OCLC services:
    • Cataloging Partners
    • Contract Cataloging
    • WorldCat Updates
    • WorldCat data sync collections
  • Process unresolved data sync collection records.

Records you can import

  • Bibliographic and authority records in the same file.
  • Records in the MARC 21 record standard (default), the Dublin Core Qualified or Dublin Core Simple standard, or MARC XML (you select the option).
  • Records using MARC-8 or UTF-8 Unicode character sets (you select the option, except that UTF-8 Unicode is required for Dublin Core import).
  • Records exported from your library’s local system. Export the records to a file via your system's MARC export function and then import from the file.
    Alternative: Retrieve (import) local system records using a Z39.50 connection. The client automatically imports a local system record when you retrieve.
  • Bibliographic records received from OCLC services (see the list in the preceding section).
  • OCLC bibliographic records (records that contain an OCLC control number) from your local system.
  • Non-OCLC bibliographic records.
    • Imported as new records (workforms)
    • Actionable (you can take any actions on imported non-OCLC records that you take on bibliographic workforms you create, with some restrictions, described below)
  • Records containing non-Latin scripts

 Note: If you use the client Z39.50 connection to your local system to retrieve records, the client automatically imports the local system records you retrieve. See Retrieve local system records using a Z39.50 connection for more information.

Restrictions on taking actions on imported OCLC bibliographic records

You can:

  • Take most actions on imported OCLC bibliographic records, including: Derive > New Record, Export, Update Holdings, and Validate.

You cannot:

  • Initially delete holdings - Imported OCLC records do not indicate whether the item is Held or Not Held by your library. Therefore, you cannot take the Delete Holdings action on imported record.

    However, when logged on, you can validate imported records to update the holdings information and then use the Delete Holdings command.

    To view holdings from the record, use Display Holdings on the View menu.
  • Take a Replace Record action on a record imported to the online save file unless you first Lock WorldCat Record (Action > Lock WorldCat Record) online.

     Caution: If you use an imported OCLC bibliographic record to lock the corresponding WorldCat record, Connexion locks and displays the current version of the WorldCat record, overwriting any changes you made to the imported record. The system warns you that your changes will be lost and asks whether you want to continue. Click No to keep your edited record, or click Yes to overwrite it.

  • Use Report Error (Action > Report Error) on an imported bibliographic record.