In biblatex, as far as I can see, there is only the possibility to have a book or other similar item (leaving aside articles because they are handled differently) in a single series.

I have a book that is counted in two different publication series.

Here is a MWE for that book:


title = {Aghram Nadharif},
subtitle = {The Barkat Oasis (Sha'abiya of Ghat, Lybian Sahara) in Garamantian Times},
editor = {Liverani, Mario},
location = {Firenze},
publisher = {All'insegna del giglio},
date = {2005},
series = {Arid zone archaeology monographs},
number = {5},
series = {Archaeology of Libyan Sahara},
number = {2},
isbn = {9788878144712}, 



When you compile this as it is, only the second series is displayed in the output. I realize that since the fields share a name, biblatex/biber probably can't recognize that there should be two different series printed. The second series/number combination overwrites the first.

Is there any way such that both series can be displayed in the output? I imagine one would have to define new fields like series1, number1, series2, and number2 to make this work, but I am too inexperienced with biblatex to figure out a way to make this work.

  • There certainly isn't an out of the box solution for this, but you could use the custom fields for this (which does of course mean that you have to adapt the style you want to use). On a more general note: Do you really need both series? I don't think I've ever seen this in a bibliography.
    – Simifilm
    Feb 15, 2012 at 20:59
  • Might be better off using the maintitle and volume instead of the "second" series and number fields. The biblatex manual discusses multi-volume works in section 2.3.5.
    – Audrey
    Feb 15, 2012 at 22:03
  • @Audrey: If the book really is part of two series – this case does exist -, maintitle and volume is not the proper solution. The question in my opinion is whether this information really must go in the bibliography. As I've said: I've seen books which are part of two series, but I've never seen one listed like that in a bibliography.
    – Simifilm
    Feb 16, 2012 at 6:10
  • In a publication, I don't think it matters, but when I compile bibliographies for colleagues or students, I like to be complete in the information I hand out. I think I just need to be more creative as @AymanElmasry suggests.
    – Amphipolis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


You could either separate the two series in two different almost identical entries, or combine them as a single value of a single field in one entry; i.e. combine the two series field values in one and the two number fields in one.

Remember; no one sees what your field name is, as long as the output style suits it: be creative.


I am posting my temporary solution here in the hope that maybe by now there's a better solution for the problem:

Rather than what Ayman Elmasry suggests above what I did for a few similar cases is to use the series field for series and number of the first series and then the number field for series and number of the second series, which, with \usepackage[authordate,backend=biber]{biblatex-chicago} gives me something like

[title] first series 123, second series 456. [location]

which seems o.k. for the time being, but something like subseries and subseriesnumber would be nicer.

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