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RDS@UF: How to Delete Bibliographic, Item and Holding Records in Aleph

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Last updated November 2022 by Sam Fraleigh

How to Delete Bibliographic, Item and Holding Records in Alma

There are several scenarios for deleting records in Alma, depending on whether other records are attached to a bib you may want to delete and whether a record is in the Institution Zone (IZ) or Network Zone (NZ). This procedure does not detail how to move item or holding records, only how to delete records.

Deleting Records in the Institution Zone

While all holding and item records inherently exist in the Institution Zone, bib records can exist in the IZ or the NZ.

Item Records

Item records represent the physical, barcoded book or other resource sitting on the shelf in the Smathers Libraries’ collection. Purchased materials (non-gifts) typically have an order record associated with an item record. If present, an order record can be located and minimally viewed by catalogers in the PO Line field within an item record. Exercise caution when attempting to delete an item record containing an order record in the PO Line. If uncertain whether an item containing an order record can be safely deleted, please check with your supervisor or Collections Support Unit (CSU) staff in Acquisitions before proceeding.

NOTE: Alma uses the term “Withdraw” in place of “delete” in regards to removing item records, specifically. To withdraw an item record:

  1. Navigate to the “List of Items” view screen
  2. Select the “” icon to the right of the specific item you would like to delete. A dropdown list will appear. Select “Withdraw” from the listed options.
  3. A confirmation message will pop-up asking if you are sure – if you are, select “Confirm”.
  4. If withdrawing one out of multiple items associated with a holding:
    1. The item will disappear from the “List of Items” view screen, and a box with a green check mark will appear in the top right of your screen if successful.
  5. If withdrawing the last item associated with a specific holding:
    1. A pop-up window will appear, and offer four follow-up options –
      1. Don’t change the holdings record
      2. Delete the holdings record
      3. Suppress the holdings record from discovery
      4. Delete bibliographic record (unless other holdings are present)
    2. Select the option that makes the most sense based on what you are trying to accomplish. Be absolutely certain that the holding and/or bib should indeed be deleted before selecting one of those options.

Bib Records (IZ)

Before deleting an IZ bib record you should first be sure that there are no item or holding records attached to it (attempting to delete a bib record with a linked item record will give you an error message). This may involve using the “Relink” option to move a holding (and accompanying item(s)) to a preferred bib record – ask your supervisor if you need assistance with relinking.

To delete an IZ Bib Record:

  1. Search the Alma IZ for the bib record you would like to delete and select “Edit Record” from the search results screen to view it in the Metadata Editor (MDE).
  2. Select the “Record Actions” tab above the displaying bib record.
  3. From the dropdown menu, navigate to the bottom and select “Delete Record”. You may also use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+D) to accomplish this.

Holding Records

As with bib records, you cannot delete a holding record that contains an item record. Be sure to first relink or withdraw any items attached to a holding you want to delete. There are a few simple ways to delete holding records:

  1. If navigating to holding through the Metadata Editor (MDE)

  1. While viewing your bib record, select the “View Related Data” tab, followed by “View Inventory”. You can also reach the inventory with the shortcut (Ctrl+I).
  2. From this inventory screen, select the “” to the right of the record information for the holding you want to delete. Be sure you are not deleting the wrong holding if there is more than one.
  3. Click “Delete”. A “Confirmation required” text box will appear – select “Yes” to confirm.
  4. Alternatively: From the Inventory screen view, select “Edit” on the correct holding, navigate to the “Record Actions” tab, and select “Delete Record” from the bottom of the dropdown menu, followed by “Yes” to confirm.

  1. If navigating to holding from Alma IZ search results screen

  1. After searching the IZ for the resource in question, select “Holdings” from the search results screen.
  2. On the “List of Holdings” screen, check the radio button for the holding you would like to delete, being sure it is the correct one. In the top right of the screen, select “Delete Holdings”, followed by “Confirm” in the pop-up message box to delete it.

Deleting Records in the Network Zone

Bib Records (NZ)

Network Zone bib records will most commonly need to be deleted when 1) you identify that there are duplicate records with the same OCLC number in Alma, or 2) you accidentally export an OCLC record to the wrong Zone.

Because of the nature of NZ bib records being shared with other state institutions, much more care must be taken when considering deleting these records. FLVC has specifically requested that rather than deleting NZ bibs ourselves, we notify them of the specific record that needs deletion. To do so:

  1. Draft an email to with a subject line stating your intent to have an NZ bib record deleted. In the body of the email, include the title, the OCLC number and the MMS ID number(s) for any record needing deleted. Please also provide any necessary context, such as whether any records may need relinked as a result, etc.
  2. Your request will be acknowledged by FLVC when received and they’ll let you know if they have any follow-up questions.

If you have any questions about this process and/or the record you need deleted, please check with your supervisor.

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