Voyager ILS

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The Folger has used Voyager as its ILS, or integrated library system, since it first brought its catalog online. Voyager includes modules for Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Circulation, as well as several administrative tools.

Integrated library systems

Most libraries use an integrated library system, commonly referred to as an ILS, to coordinate the work of different departments and to automate portions of their workflows. An ILS is made up of distinct modules that allow different departments to link their work together and see the same information from different vantage points. For example, when buying a book, Acquisitions staff enter information about the book, the vendor, and the price in the Acquisitions module in order to create a purchase order and a preliminary catalog record; Cataloging staff can access the same preliminary catalog record through the Cataloging module in order to create a full description; and Reading Room staff can find that catalog record in the Circulation module and temporarily link it to a patron record in order to sign the book out to a reader. Voyager also includes components for managing serials, running reports, and making bulk updates to data. Some ILSs (but not Voyager) also include components for preservation services and licensing.

Voyager at the Folger

Initial adoption

Seeing the steady advance of online cataloging and automated systems, the Folger decided to bring the catalog fully online and transition to an ILS in the early 1990s. In September 1994, the library put out an RFP for vendors, and received about half a dozen responses. Over the next year, the OPAC Steering Committee met with representatives from each vendor, contacted other libraries who had implemented their products, and compared pricing, implementation timelines, and product capabilities to evaluate their choices. In December 1995, the Folger selected Endeavor Information Systems, then the maker of Voyager, and began planning to install Voyager in the coming year.[1]

Voyager was chosen because its features best fit the needs of a special collections library. For example:

  • full control over public display and search indexing of MARC data in the online catalog
  • de facto unlimited field length and number of fields for descriptive metadata
  • ability to preserve circulation history for security purposes

The Acquisitions and Cataloging staff went through a training period on the new system in June 1996.[2] The front-facing OPAC component went online in January 1997.[3] Throughout 1997, the Folger gradually refined its use of Voyager, and increased its licensing to allow for more simultaneous users of both its back-end and front-end components.


The Folger moved from Voyager 6 to Voyager 8 in 2012, and to Voyager 9 in October 2015, but continues to use version 6 of the OPAC (version 6 became known as "WebVoyage Classic" after the introduction of the Tomcat version of WebVoyage with Voyager 7).

Help with Voyager

For questions or problems concerning the Folger's installation of Voyager, please contact the Head of Collection Information Services. For questions or problems concerning the public Folger catalog Hamnet, please email

Settings, workflows, and procedures

Running Voyager (including PuTTY settings)
Setting preferences in Voyager
Deleting or suppressing records in Voyager
Relinking records in Voyager
Voyager bulk import
Voyager keyboard shortcuts
Voyager quick start guide
  1. "Summary of Folger Endeavor Decision," [1996?], Folger internal files.
  2. Memo to Acquisitions & Cataloging Staff, 7 June 1996, Folger internal files.
  3. Letter from Folger Librarian to IRLA President, 20 January 1998, Folger internal files.