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    BIBFRAME Support



    Alma is a multi-format system that supports BIBFRAME Works and Instances. Records in this format can be used in Alma workflows, such as resource management, acquisition, fulfillment, and support for discovery. This page provides an overview of the features available in Alma for managing BIBFRAME records over the various sections and functionalities of Alma.

    These features will continue to expand and evolve as new capabilities are developed for BIBFRAME.

    Enabling BIBFRAME in Your Institution

    To activate BIBFRAME support in your Alma environment, please contact Ex Libris customer support.

    API Services

    Internal APIs for Customers with Keys

    BIBFRAME work and instance records can be created in Alma using the Ex Libris Developers Network API Console Bibliographic records API (/bibs). For more information and examples, see How to use an API to create a BIBFRAME record.

    In addition, APIs can be used for updating, viewing, and deleting BIBFRAME works and instances in the same way as bibliographic records in other formats. The update API for instances includes the additional ability to update the work that the instance is related to. The work needs to have the instance already included in "has Instance" for this to work.

    BIBFRAME records from the API are matched to Alma by MMSID or the "about URI". 

    These APIs support the Sinopia BIBFRAME editor and allow seamless updates of BIBFRAME records in Alma directly from Sinopia. For instructions on setting up the integration see Python files for transforming Sinopia to Alma structure.

    Open APIs
    Open GET APIs for BIBFRAME works and instances:

    These enable any individual with an Alma URI to reach the BIBFRAME xml record. 

    The URI serves as an endpoint to the works and instances. 

    For more information see here.

    Supporting BIBFRAME records in the SRU:

    SRU (Search/Retrieve via URL) is available for Alma bibliographic records and can be returned in BIBFRAME format, among others. Make sure the requested record schema is lc_bf_instance. For more information, see here.

    All Titles Search

    BIBFRAME instances can be searched via Alma's all-titles search. In Addition to existing indexes, such as title, author, subjects, etc., users can search by linked data fields such as the Instance URI (Title URI) and the Work URI (Parent URI). The URIs are also searchable as keywords to create a partial text search. For instance, if you wish to search exclusively by the prefix of the URI, it's achievable (example:

    BIBFRAME records can also be added to a set, whether an all-BIBFRAME set or a set that combines other record formats.

    The work can be viewed in the instance record view.

    BIBFRAME instance searched via Alma's all-titles search and can be viewed in the instance record view by selecting "View Work".

    Instance Record View

    BIBFRAME records can also be viewed on-the-fly as MARC records as part of the record view.

    For more information, see Searching in Alma - Ex Libris Knowledge Center ( and Search Indexes - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (

    Resource Management

    BIBFRAME is supported in the various resource management administration workflows of the library's many resources and search-related activities. The link below directs you to further information on developments done for BIBFRAME.

    For more information on Resource Management, see Introduction to Resource Management - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (

    Metadata Management 

    BIBFRAME instance records can be managed in the Metadata Editor. The records are displayed as view only, since they were created outside of Alma. The additional functionalities of the Metadata Editor are also functional for the BIBFRAME instance. Users can add a BIBFRAME instance to a portfolio, suppress/unsuppressed the instance, add management tags, add inventory, extract call numbers, add records to portfolios, and more. 

    For more information, see Metadata Management.

    Linking to Authorities

    BIBFRAME records are linked to authority records, allowing the instances to be searchable by non-preferred terms. The linkage is based on the authorities and URIs cataloged in the BIBFRAME work and instance. Alma supports linking BIBFRAME records to the following authorities: Library of Congress Name Authority,  Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Children's Subject Headings, BNE, FAST and MESH. Support for linking to additional authorities will be incorporated at a later stage.

    For more information, see Working with Authority Records.


    Alma inventory is supported for BIBFRAME. The existing data model for holdings and items is also functional for BIBFRAME records. 

    For more information, see Introduction to Alma Inventory - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (


    BIBFRAME records can be published in Alma to external resources through general publishing. Alma's general publishing supports publishing BIBFRAME as BIBFRAME and as MARC. When Published as BIBFRAME, the work and the instance are published in a single XML file. For more information, see Publishing and Inventory Enrichment (General Publishing) - Ex Libris Knowledge Center ( 

    Alma supports publishing BIBFRAME records as part of the publishing to OCLC job by converting the BIBFRAME records on-the-fly to MARC records that are sent along with all MARC records to OCLC, both on the bibliographic level and on the holding level. Publishing BIBFRAME as BIBFRAME to OCLC is supported through general publishing, as explained above.

    For more information on the OCLC publishing profile, see Publishing to OCLC - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (


    As a multi-format system, Alma PO lines and acquisition workflows are supported for the BIBFRAME instance. 

    For more information on Acquisition, see Acquisitions Infrastructure and Advanced Tools - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (


    As a multi-format system,  Alma supports BIBFRAME instances in the fulfillment processes of requests, loaning, and returning items.  

    For more information on Fulfillment, see Fulfillment - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (


    Alma Analytics supports BIBFRAME bibliographic records in the same way it supports bibliographic records in other cataloging formats. In addition, Linked Open Data specific fields are available in analytics, such as Instance URI, Work URI, and others. For more information, see Linked Open Data

    Primo VE

    BIBFRAME instances are indexed and displayed in Primo VE out of the box. In addition, you can configure the deduping of BIBFRAME instances by the work URI, combined with existing deduping keys, and existing normalization rules also apply for BIBFRAME. 

    For more information on deduping, see Understanding the Dedup and FRBR Processes (Primo VE) - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (

    For more information on normalization rules, see Configuring Normalization Rules for Display and Local Fields - Ex Libris Knowledge Center (

    As the usage of BIBFRAME expands throughout libraries, Ex Libris will continue to enhance BIBFRAME functionalities in Primo VE, including support for FRBR (clustering), BIBFRAME properties and more. 

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