How to Add New Authorities When Cataloguing – Unlocking Greyed-out Subfields

When cataloguing in Koha, you may discover that you certain subfields (such as 650a – Topical term or geographic name entry element, etc) may be greyed out and thus you will be unable to enter your own subject or topical headings. If you encounter that problem, the first thing is, don’t panic! Your Koha installation is not broken, it’s simply because the BiblioAddsAuthorities system preference is turned off.

Turning the BiblioAddsAuthorities System Preference On

When the BiblioAddsAuthorities is set to “don’t allow” it means that you will not be allowed to create your own authorities (which is what you will be doing when you enter your own subject or topical fields), and will only be allowed to reference existing authorities. If you want to be able to edit the greyed-out subfields in Koha when cataloguing, simply do the following.

  1. Log in to your Koha staff home page
  2. Click on Koha Administration (Or click the More drop down menu, and select Administration)
  3. Click on Global System Preferences
  4. Click on Authorities
  5. Scroll to General
  6. Set the BiblioAddsAuthorities preference from “don’t allow” to “allow”.

And you are all set! Your will now be able to add and edit your own authorities such as subject and topical fields.

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