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Spring 2019 Update

The scripts and training materials in this section were used by Alma peer trainers & facilitators during the active Implementation project phase (April 2018 - June 2019).

These materials are now archived and may contain outdated information/past practice - do not use as-is. This content was last updated June 2018.

For current Alma training, please visit the Learning Alma - for Staff and Managers page.

Note: These exercises cover skills from Cataloging 1, Cataloging 2, and Items & Holdings. 

Cataloging Exercises

The Harvard Alma Training Sandbox:


  1. Do a search for any keyword in All Titles: (for example: science) View the record first and then move any title to the MD editor. NOTE: We need to all choose different titles so that we are not locking a record that someone else is working on.
  2. From search results, “view” the holdings without moving it to the MD Editor.
    1. Extra points: find more than one way to only “view” the holdings from this screen.
  3. After viewing the holdings, move it to the MD Editor.
  4. Do an external sources search. Choose HVD + OCLC + LOC. Search for any keyword you want.
  5. Pick a record and bring it into the MD Editor.
  6. Look at your left pane. What is the difference between the blue house and the black house?
  7. Open one of your records in the MD Editor. Change the 245 1st indicator to 8. Save the record, and note what happens.
    1. Extra points: How can you tell if your record was saved or not?
  8. Copy the MMS ID from your record, and put it in the top search box, (change to Physical titles). From the search results, open the MD Editor, using Resources à Open Metadata Editor. Your record is no longer open in the MD Editor. How do you open the record without going back to the search screen?
  9. Now remove the 245 from your record, and try to save it to the server. Note the message at the top of the screen.
  10. Edit the holdings on your record, if you have one. If not, create one.
  11. Find two ways to release your records, and release all your records.
  12. Search external resources from the MD Editor, and find a record in HVD. Click on view to view it, and then “back to results.” Now click on import. See the 011 error, and delete it. How do you delete the record? NOTE: You cannot edit a record from HVD found through the external resources search. If you want to edit it, you need to copy the title/ID, etc. and go into search to find it and then push it into the MD Editor. This will be used more for Acq. and pre-order searching.
  13. Create a new bib. record.
  14. Put anything in the 245. Add a 100 for Cawelti, John G. Add a subject heading: 650 0 Popular culture.
  15. You want to connect the 100 and 650 to the correct authority record. (controlling headings) Make sure it’s the correct authority record by viewing the authority before connecting it.
  16. Create another record with a different title, but with the same author and subject. Now save the record.
  17. Take your new bib. record and duplicate it.
  18. Add 050  4 $$a F1234 $$b .Q75 2017 Add a 500 note with DUPLICATE to your duplicate record, and save your duplicate record. NOTE: Duplicate record copies the 010, 035, etc., so you should immediately REMOVE any of these fields that are specific to the original record only.
  19. Add a holdings. Use 852 $b WID $c WIDLC.
  20. Create an item.
  21. Create another item, and choose a material type and item policy.
  22. Open the record you were working on and the duplicate record you created.
  23. Choose to merge the two records, but use “show merge preview” to be sure.
  24. Create another duplicate record. Add 250 2nd edition. Add a new holdings to the duplicate record, but make it WID HD. Then merge the two, while choosing to “keep” the duplicate. In other words you are moving the holdings.
  25. Take one of your records and suppress it. Create a holdings and suppress it. How can you tell in the MD Editor that the records are suppressed?
  26. Take that holdings that you suppressed and delete it. If you’ve created more than one holdings, delete them all. NOTE: the system will ask you to also delete the bib. record because all bib. records should have a holdings.
  27. Create a new holdings and item. Then try to delete the holdings.
  28. Then delete the item first. NOTE: You get a pop up box asking if you want to delete the holdings. Then delete the holdings.
  29. RELEASE ALL your records!!

Exercises for browse searching in the MD Editor

Please note that the results in browse searching are not working as of May 2018. This will be fixed with the June release. However, for now we can do some browse searching, although the results will not display in the right pane.


Exercises for the browse search:

You should get 1 hit for each of these searches. The point of the exercises is to find the correct index to search.



Attalo. Libretto. English & Italian

The Alma title browse includes titles from fields 245, 246, and 700 $t, but not from 130 (found in names), 240 (not found), 730 (found in names) or 740 (not found)


600 name browse

Clotilda, Queen, consort of Clovis, King of the Franks, 475?-545 -- Drama.


650 Family names

Washington family


700 $t

Cinq mars



Star Wars (Motion picture)

The Alma title browse includes titles from fields 245, 246, and 700 $t, but not from 130 (found in names), 240 (not found), 730 (found in names) or 740 (not found)


Try to browse shelf list this call number: F1435.1.R5

NOTE: If you want to shelf list against all the libraries in Harvard, leave the library and location fields blank.

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