Ready to Learn?Ex Libris products all provide open APIs

Working with Collections

All digital objects in Alma exist within the context of a collection. Collections are assigned on a BIB level, meaning all BIBs must be assigned to one or more collections before digital representations can be added. Collections assignment can be done in one of the following ways:

  • During MD import
  • From the Collection Resource Editor
  • Using the collection API

 

Adding Collections using MD Import

Alma uses metadata import profiles to define how a metadata import job processes files. MD import profiles can be created for different types of imports. For collections, a Collection import profile is used. For information on how to configure a metadata import profile, see “Resource Management -> Managing Profiles for Record Imports” in the online help.

The Collection MD Import Profile is based on the EAD schema. The profile accepts an EAD file representing a hierarchy of collections and creates Alma collections from it.

The EAD XML file must contain one root <ead> element containing exactly one <archdesc> element with a @level attribute with a value of "collection". This creates a top-level collection in Alma. Alternatively, by adding an @id attribute, the <archdesc> can matched to an existing collection, in which case this collection will be the root and all other collection will come under it. The @id attribute value is based on the collection's MMS_ID (not its collection ID), for example, <archdesc id="MMS_ID_1234567890" level="collection">.

The <archdesc> must contain a <did> element with its collection properties. The <unittitle>, which is mapped both to the collection name and to its bib title, is mandatory. Additionally, the <archdesc> may contain the following elements:

  • <unitid> (optional, one) – mapped to the collection external ID
  • <abstract> (optional, one) – mapped to the collection description
  • <dsc> (optional, one) - containing one or more <c> elements that will become its direct subcollections

Each <c> element must have a @level attribute with a value of "collection", and one <did> element with the following elements:

  • <unittitle> (mandatory, one) – mapped to the collection name and bib title
  • <unitid> (optional, one) – mapped to the collection external ID
  • <abstract> (optional, one) – mapped to the collection description

A <c> element may contain further <c> elements, which will become its subcollections. Up to 9 levels of <c> elements are allowed. The order of the collections is maintained by Alma during the import. Note: <c{n}> elements are not supported.

All other EAD elements are ignored by Alma and may be included in the submitted EAD.

EAD example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<ead xsi:schemaLocation="urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9 http://www.loc.gov/ead/ead.xsd" xmlns:ns2="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns="urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<archdesc level="collection">
  <did>
   <unittitle>digital collections</unittitle>
   <abstract label="Description"/>
  </did>
  <dsc>
   <c level="collection">
    <did>
     <unittitle>19th Century Art</unittitle>
     <unitid>123454321</unitid>
     <abstract label="Description">Material for course ID 21224354, 2014</abstract>
    </did>
    <c level="collection">
     <did>
      <unittitle>Renoir</unittitle>
      <unitid>123454322</unitid>
     </did>
    </c>
    <c level="collection">
     <did>
      <unittitle>19th Century Art</unittitle>
      <unitid>12345432134</unitid>
     </did>
    </c>
   </c>
  </dsc>
</archdesc>
</ead>

Importing Collections with Thumbnails

You can include collection thumbnails in your collection MD import job. To associate a thumbnail to a collection, add an empty <dao> element to a <did> element with the following attributes:

  • daotype - "otherdaotype"
  • otherdaotype - "thumbnail"
  • href - thumbnail file name

To submit a Collection MD Import with thumbnails, create a (flat) zip file containing your EAD xml files (at least one) and your thumbnail files. Files should be of png or jpeg format and should not exceed 150KB. You may reference the same file from multiple <dao> elements.

Example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<ead xsi:schemaLocation="urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9 http://www.loc.gov/ead/ead.xsd" xmlns:ns2="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns="urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<archdesc id="MMS_ID_99238241500561" level="collection">
  <did>
   <unittitle>digital collections</unittitle>
   <abstract label="Description"/>
  </did>
  <dsc>
   <c level="collection">
    <did>
     <unittitle>19th Century Art</unittitle>
     <unitid>123454321</unitid>
     <dao daotype="otherdaotype" otherdaotype="thumbnail" href="19th_cent_art.jpg"/>
     <abstract label="Description">Material for students in course <b>21224354</b>, 2014</abstract>
    </did>
    <c level="collection">
     <did>
      <unittitle>Renoir</unittitle>
      <unitid>123454322</unitid>
      <dao daotype="otherdaotype" otherdaotype="thumbnail" href="renoir.png"/>
     </did>
    </c>
    <c level="collection">
     <did>
      <unittitle>20th Century Art</unittitle>
      <unitid>12345432134</unitid>
      <dao daotype="otherdaotype" otherdaotype="thumbnail" href="20th_cent_art.png"/>
     </did>
    </c>
   </c>
  </dsc>
</archdesc>
</ead>

 

Collection List API

A hierarchical list of your institution’s collections and their details is available using the collections API.

Collection Titles

Use the collection bibs API to get a list of titles assigned to a collection.

If you are building an external discovery interface you can leverage these APIs to expose your collections and their titles.