How to Submit Bibliographic Corrections

Note: These instructions are for catalogers at our member libraries that would like to make a correction to the bibliographic record of a book that was originally contributed by their library, and then re-submit the bibliographic record to HathiTrust.

Zephir is the system that manages the bibliographic metadata for HathiTrust.

In Zephir, everything revolves around the item/volume identifier that your institution is using, which might be a barcode or ARK. For the purpose of this article, we will call this identifier the barcode.

More details about the metadata submission (or re-submission) process.

If you would like to make a correction to the bibliographic record of a book, such as a different date in the 008 field or a correction to the author or title field:

  • You can extract the record from your integrated library system (ILS), and publish it to a file that can be submitted to Zephir.

  • The record must have a 955 field in it with the item- or volume-level information, including the barcode, the Internet Archive Identifier (IA ID), and the “enum/chron” data (for example, volume or year details for individual issues of a journal).

  • The barcode must match to the record you want to correct.

The same process applies if you would like to make a correction at the item/volume level. Let’s say you previously submitted a record, and the date in the enum/chron was wrongly described as 1865 instead of 1965. You would then:

  • Extract the record with the updated details.

  • Publish it to a file (the process may vary for preparing files to submit to Zephir at your institution).

  • Then submit it to Zephir.

Matching is done using the barcode, and the updates are made.

Zephir does not have a user interface, such as one you would find with an ILS. The above description is the only way that corrections and updates can be made.

If you have submitted an updated record but are not seeing it in the HathiTrust collection, please check out this help article from the Zephir team to help you troubleshoot.

Learn more metadata submission or re-submission. Member libraries that are interested in working with HathiTrust to set up a new workflow for catalog corrections can reach us at


If you submit a bibliographic record that includes a correction (such as a misspelled title or author), that record may join a cluster of records from other contributors. In this case, you will only see your correction in the HathiTrust catalog if your corrected record becomes the “preferred” record, the one that represents all the records in the cluster. This can be misleading, so if you are wondering why you are not seeing the correction that you submitted, it is usually for this reason.

Once a barcode is associated with a particular item that’s been digitized, it should never be changed. The barcode functions as the unique identifier that connects the digital content to the bibliographic metadata, and altering the barcode would break this connection. Sometimes contributors who use barcodes will replace a barcode with a new one after the item has been digitized. When this occurs, the link between the digital scans and the metadata is lost.

Questions About Corrections?

Contact our member-led user support team for help!