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  • Holdings - Creating, Editing, Suppressing, and Deleting


Make sure you're familiar with the policy on when to suppress vs. delete a bib record: Collection Management - Policy for Suppression and Deletion

Holdings Records Quick Facts

  • Holdings records exist for physical materials, to identify what library holds an item. In some cases a holding may represent an electronic resource, which is explained further at Alma location codes - usage information
  • You cannot create an item without first creating a corresponding holding, though many processes in Alma will create the holdings record for you (ordering, quick item creation, etc.). 
  • All holdings must be linked to bibliographic records, and all items must be linked to holdings.
  • If you start by creating an order (a Purchase Order Line or POL) or from the Quick Cataloging menu, Alma will create a stub holding for you.
  • Holdings are viewable in the main Alma interface, and editable in the Metadata Editor.
  • The Metadata Standards Working Group maintains MARC Holdings Examples on the Best Practices wiki. 

Viewing Holdings

Option 1: From Search Results (View Only)

  1. Using the All Titles or Physical Titles search type, find the bib record of interest
  2. Expand the Physical holdings tab by clicking on the double-arrow icon
  3. Choose the holdings record you want to view:
    • Click on the hyperlinked Location for the holding, OR
    • Click on the Holdings link to see a list of holdings, then click on the holdings ID number or select View from the row action item list icon at the right


Option 2: In the Metadata Editor (View or Edit)

To view holdings for a specific bib from within the MD Editor, click on the icon highlighted below, or type CTRL + i

This will search for  inventory associated with the bib. The results will display in a split screen. 

Click View or Edit to view or edit the holdings. You can choose the full-screen icon next to the Exit button to display the holdings as a full screen.

Alma will keep also keep track of holdings that you are working on. These will display on the left-hand pane. You can click on any holdings in your left pane to display and edit that holdings.

Adding Holdings

To add an additional holding to a bib that already has a holding:

  1. Search for the bib record. 
  2. From the search result, click the Holdings link.
  3. Click Add New Holdings. This will open the new holdings record in the Metadata Editor.
  4. Type in the 852 $b and $c which are mandatory (use all capital letters). You can also use Control+F in this field to open a Form Editor to choose from a drop down list of libraries and locations.
  5. Click the Save icon or CTRL + S

When you save the record, Alma will copy the bib 050 into the holding 852 $h $i, if both these conditions are met: 

  1. Subfield h and i were blank 
  2. The library/location is configured to default to LC classification. 

This does not work for the 090, which has to be added manually.

Alma has a default 852 1st indicator set up for each library/collection (i.e. 852 $b $c combination) so you don't have to enter the indicator. If your location does not have a default, indicator 8 will be autopopulated. Contact LTS to set up a different indicator for you location if needed.

If the bib record is already open in the MDE, click on the Add Holdings icon, or type CTRL + ALT + H and proceed from step 4 above.

Editing Holdings

If you are viewing a holdings record, click Edit to open the holding in the MD Editor. 

Alternatively, open the bibliographic record in the MD Editor, and click on the icon to View Inventory or or type CTRL + I

The holdings will open in split screen:

You can edit the holdings, by choosing any commands under the Edit menu. You can choose the icon highlighted to the right to display the holdings as a full screen.

See also the Browse Shelf Listing document.

Suppressing Holdings

To suppress a holdings record from view in HOLLIS/Primo:

  1. Open the holdings in the MDE per the instructions above
  2. Navigate to Tools > Set Management Tags in the MDE toolbar menu
  3. Click the box next to Suppress from Discovery

When you suppress a holding in Alma, all attached item records are also suppressed from discovery. If all items on a holding have been withdrawn, the holdings record should be deleted.

Make sure you're familiar with the policy on when to suppress vs. delete a bib record: Collection Management - Policy for Suppression and Deletion

Records in Alma should be suppressed in cases in which we retain ownership of the resource, but do not want the resource discoverable in other systems such as:

  • HOLLIS (Primo)
  • WorldCat/OCLC
  • Data stores such as LibraryCloud

Examples where it may be appropriate to suppress bibs/holdings:

  • Resources used in tech services departments that are not available to patrons
  • Newly received archival materials that are not ready to be exposed to the public
  • Bib records used to pay for memberships to organizations

Deleting Holdings

A deleted record will be removed from Alma entirely.

Make sure you're familiar with the policy on when to suppress vs. delete a bib record: Collection Management - Policy for Suppression and Deletion

The deletion of holdings and bibs for withdrawn resources is especially important in Alma. Otherwise, the resources are assumed to be parts of the collection that need to be managed. System functions for managing the collection continue to apply to suppressed records - such as authority control processes - using up valuable staff time for manual review of jobs and server processing time and space.

There are two methods to delete a holdings record:

  1. Open the holdings record in the MDE
  2. Select Record Actions > Delete Record (Ctrl+D)
  3. You will be asked to confirm your choice
  4. When you select “Yes,” you will be prompted to delete the bib or not
  5. Select “Yes” if this is the last holdings record on the bib. Otherwise, select “No” to retain the bib


  1. Conduct a "Physical holdings" level search
  2. Click the check box on the holdings you wish to delete (if there is more than one search result)
  3. Navigate to the ellipses menu on the right of the search results screen and choose "Delete." This way you can delete without having to open the MDE. 

Alma Resource Management - Major Differences from Aleph

Important Notes about Local Fields and Holdings Statements (Paired and Textual)

  • Field 908 (was H08 in Aleph) is no longer a required field. You only need to add this field if you do NOT want holdings set in OCLC. To prevent holdings being set in OCLC, add 908 $$ap. 
    • Some units may continue to require 908 for statistical purposes. 
  • Fields 866, 867, 868 (textual holdings statements) will automatically be generated by Alma when a record is saved and there are paired enum/chron fields (863, 864, 865).
    • When enum/chron paired fields are updated and you re-save a record, Alma will regenerate the 866, 867, 868. 
    • You should not modify 866, 867, 868 fields. 
    • This system is configured to generate these fields for the purposes of Primo display. 
  • Fields 966, 967, 968 are designated for use by staff for manually creating textual holdings statements (in lieue of 866, 867, 868). 
    • These fields will display in Primo. 
    • Aleph holdings fields 866, 867, 868 migrated as 966, 967, 968. 
  • Additional fields are automatically generated (and updated) when saving a holding, for the purposes of Primo display:
    • 994 : Copy of 977 Bound-with for Primo use (displays with a hyperlink for the user to click on)
    • 995 : Copy of 008 receipt status for Primo use (displays as On Order or Currently Received, when applicable)
      • Migrated data have some encoded data in this field. This should be ignored. (Data will be removed when the record is saved.)
    • 996 : Copy of 561/1 or 561/_ for Primo use (indexed and displayed when note is not marked private)
    • 997 : Copy of 541/1 for Primo use (indexed and display when note is marked as public)
  • All Harvard defined fields are documented at

852 Changes

  • For holdings field 852, we no longer having the option of leaving both indicators blank.
    • Most library/locations have been configured to have a default 1st indicator appropriate for that location.
    • If no other default has been set, the 1st indicator will default to 8.
  • It is okay to leave the first indicator value even if you have no call number present. (If there is no $h/$i, no entry will appear in call number browses or shelf listing tools.). Examples:
    • 852 8# $$b SCH $$c HD
    • 852 0# $$b WID $$c HD
  • Staff members can prevent unwanted text like "IN PROCESS" from 050 fields in bibliographic records from being automatically copied into 852 fields in holdings records by using the indicator of '8' in the 852 field when no real call number is available.

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