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Catalog using Ethiopic script

Discover how to catalog using Ethiopic script in Connexion client.


Use Ethiopic script data for cataloging items in language that use the Ethiopic script (Amharic). Use Ethiopic script data the same way you use other non-Latin script data in the client.

See Work with international records and Guidelines for contributing non-Latin script bibliographic records to WorldCat for details specific to non- Latin scripts. See also general procedures describing how to:

Tools for using non-Latin scripts

  • Link/unlink (Edit > Linking Fields > Link [or Unlink]) - Visually link or unlink non-Latin script data fields with equivalent Latin script (romanized) data fields (bibliographic records only) 
  • Export options for data fields (Tools > Options > International) - Determine (for bibliographic records only): 
    • Whether to export both equivalent Latin script (romanized) data and non-Latin script data or only one or the other 
    • Position of data if you export both Latin and non-Latin script data 
    • Sort order 

 Caution: MARC-8 character verification (Edit > MARC-8 Characters > Verify) is not appropriate for verifying Ethiopic characters. There is no MARC-8 character set for Ethiopic. Using this command for Ethiopic results in marking all Ethiopic characters as invalid. The OCLC system validates Ethiopic characters when you validate a record.

See Use non-Latin scripts for cataloging bibliographic records for more specific procedures for working with these tools.

UTF-8 Unicode export and import required for Ethiopic records

Because Ethiopic script is not included in MARC-8 character sets, you must export and import records in Unicode format (settings are in Tools > Options > Export and in File > Import Records/Options button).

About Unicode

Unicode is the universal character encoding scheme for written characters and text. It defines a consistent way of encoding multi-script text that enables the exchange of text data internationally.

Unicode provides for three encoding forms: a 32-bit form (UTF-32), a 16-bit form (UTF-16), and an 8-bit form (UTF-8, designed for use with ASCII-based systems).

Connexion client began supporting Ethiopic script with Unicode version 6.2.0.

Ethiopic script entry and character sets

Script entry method

If your system default language is not Amharic, you can install Amharic, and Windows provides an input keyboard for entering Ethiopic script. See more about input methods for languages that use non-Latin scripts.

Character set supported

Ethiopic characters are defined in Unicode 6.2 (coded in the range U+1200 to U+1399, U+2D80 to U+2DDF, U+AB00 to U+AB2F).

Script identifier in records

The client adds the following data to field 066 ‡c in Ethiopic records to indicate the presence of Ethiopic characters:

  • Ethi

Romanized data

See the ALA-LC Romanization Table for Amharic on the Library of Congress website.

Indexing for Ethiopic script searches

Notes on searching

  • Use word or phrase search indexes and browse indexes. 
  • Word searches find the data string you enter anywhere in the indexed field. Phrase searches find the data string starting with the first character in a field or subfield and including each character in exact order. Browsing scans an index for the closest match to the character string followed by any other data. 
  • If you use qualifiers to limit a search, type them in Latin script. 
  • Do not use derived searching. 
  • You can truncate searches (asterisk (*) at the end of a search term) or use browsing for automatic truncation (enter only as many characters as needed for a match, without using an asterisk). 
  • If you want to retrieve all Ethiopic script records or see sample records, use the "character sets present" WorldCat search index (label vp:) with the assigned code eth.
    • To find all Ethiopic script records, enter vp:eth in the command line of the Search WorldCat window (Cataloging > Search > WorldCat).
       Note: If a search for all Ethiopic script records alone retrieves too many WorldCat records (limit 1,500 records), you must limit the search and try again (e.g., vp:eth/1991-vp:eth and mt:bks; etc.).

See general procedures and search techniques for searching WorldCat.

Ethiopic character indexing specifics

Ethiopic punctuation (Section mark, Wordspace, Full stop, Comma, Semicolon, Colon, Preface colon, Question mark, and Paragraph separator) are ignored in indexing.

Ethiopic tonal marks (Yizet, Deret, Rikrik, Short rikrik, Difat, Kenat, Chiret, Hidet, Deret-hidet and Kurt) are ignored in indexing.

Required system font

Because the Arial Unicode Microsoft font does not support the Ethiopic script, you may need to install the Abyssinica SIL font. You can download it here. In Windows, the Nyala font also supports the Ethiopic script.