The International ISBN agency advises allocation of individual ISBNs per volume as well as a set, however it is not mandatory and many smaller sets only have the one ISBN allocated.

There are several different scenarios for sets of volumes:

Scenario 1 - each volume has its own ISBN 

In this case you will be able to download records from a source (SCIS or other) and have one Bib record per volume with copies of that volume only attached.

Each volume will display the volume number on the OPAC front page if a Series and Volume number is also entered into the Bib record. eg.

Scenario 2 - all volumes share the same ISBN

     Solution a.  In this case you can only download one record for that ISBN and:

    1. Attach all volumes as copies to one Bib record
    2. Enter the volume number/content in a Unique note on each copy
    3. Enter contents information on a unique note on each copy
    4. Use the Local call number to denote volume.  It overrides the Bib record call number and appears on the OPAC.

For example:


Global history : cultural encounters from antiquity to the present




 v. 1. Antiquity, 5000 b.c.e. to 400s c.e. -- v. 2. The spread of religions and empires, 400s to 1400s -- v. 3. The age of discovery and colonial expansion, 1400s to 1900s -- v. 4. The contemporary world, 1900s to present.

Local Call numbers:

909 GLOB v1

909 GLOB v2  

909 GLOB v3

909 GLOB v4 


This can be used even if multiple copies of the volumes exist in the same Site or different Sites.


It means that all volumes sit under one title/ISBN with a cover image in an OPAC search and the volumes/copies are all attached and can be borrowed if allowed.

Scenario 2 - all volumes share the same ISBN

     Solution b.  In this case you can only download the record with ISBN once but:

    1. After downloading the initial record via the ISBN
    2. Add the Volume 1 copy to this initial Bib record and include 'vol. 1' in the Volume field.
    3. Manually create Bib records for each other volume in set without an ISBN (use Cataloguing > Book template)
    4. Add the copy record for each volume to the relevant Bib record
    5. If each Bib record contains the same Series entry and a volume number, both will display on the front page of the OPAC results as per the screen shot above.
Please note that the downloaded Bib record containing ISBN should automatically display a cover if in SCIS.
All other Bib records for subsequent volumes will have to have the cover image uploaded using the green upload button on each Bib record screen.

These three scenarios depend on whether the volumes in a set are required to appear as separate OPAC entries or can sit as copies attached to the one Bib record describing the entire set.

Issuing of any of the copies for any scenario above is identical.