Character Sets, Unicode, and Non-English Characters

Our bibliographic records are encoded in the Unicode character set. Unicode allows for the display of a large range of alphabets and diacritics (also known as accent marks) and special characters.

If you are seeing strange characters in some of the Library Catalog records, it may be because of your browser. There are many titles in the Ingalls Library's collections that are in non-Western European alphabets. To view these records correctly, you need to use a Web browser that is set up to display these languages. In general, your browser should support Unicode (UTF-8 character set) display, and must have a suitable font available (e.g., Arial Unicode MS). 

The Arial Unicode MS font provides the most complete support for Unicode characters. It is available with the Microsoft Office suite. 

If Arial Unicode MS is not available to you, other fonts can be used with the Library Catalog. For information on other fonts that support Unicode, see the Useful resources link at www.unicode.org. 

Note: Internet Explorer 7.x will display the web session, but has known problems with several specific Unicode characters (modifier letter apostrophe, modifier letter turned comma) used frequently in Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, and Russian. If you use IE7, you will see hollow squares in place of these characters.

In older browsers, Unicode charcaters may show up as groups of four letters and numbers. For instance, in Netscape 4.x, records with Chinese characters will display strings such as \65B0\653F.