The history of Koha

Who am I?

  • Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha
  • One of the original Koha developers
  • Kaihuawaere Matihiko at Catalyst.Net
  • Lives in Wellington, New Zealand
  • +64274500789

Nō hea ahau?

A small connection

The name - Koha

1. (noun) gift, present, offering, donation, contribution - especially one maintaining social relationships and has connotations of reciprocity.

Mana tāngata

To be a person is not to stand alone, but to be one with one's

people, and the deeper the oneness the more we are truly persons

and have that mana tangata.


- Michael P Shirres : 2000

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past

The beginning

  • Started in late 1999
  • Y2K fix
  • Horowhenua Library Trust
  • Rosalie Blake

The first year

  • Went live January 3 2000
  • 1.0 released June 2000
  • First fully web ILS
  • 4 people have code in Koha


  • Bugzilla set up
  • Koha wiki set up
  • MARC standards added
  • HTML::Template
  • End of 2005 - 39 People have code in Koha


  • First Kohacon
  • Move to Zebra
  • Move from sourceforge cvs to savannah cvs, then to git
  • The Liblime issue
  • By end of 2010 - 130 people have code in Koha


  • Switch to time based releases - 3.4 the first
  • Switch to Template::Toolkit
  • Trademark battle over
  • End of 2015 - 305 people have code in Koha


  • Version number changes - 16.05 first
  • Manual switches to sphinx
  • Elasticsearch added
  • As of 2021 449 people have code in Koha

2021 - Now

  • Recalls added
  • ERM feature added to Koha
  • Staff site redesign
  • As of now 481 people have code in Koha

Replacing laptops


Laurel's Art

Remember the code is only important because of the community it serves

Kohacon24 in India?

The request for proposals to host KohaCon24 is open until April 18 2023 23:59 UTC

The community has agreed that KohaCon conferences must be either:

  • hybrid with an in-person conference streamed online,
  • or entirely online.

This allows for greater accessibility, so that everyone can attend and learn from each other no matter their availability, ability to travel, or budget.

For hybrid conferences, the rules for continent rotation apply.
Therefore, for 2024, the following continents are eligible:

 - Africa

 - Asia

 - South America

 - Oceania

Koha history

By Chris Cormack