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Alma Search and Navigation

Where is it and how do I find it?

The Persistent Search Bar

Alma persistent search bar

The persistent search bar has up to six parts:

Search Type (blue drop-down): This sets the kinds of records you want to find.

Criteria (white drop-down): This chooses the field you want to search in those records. This changes depending on the Search Type you choose.

Search term (blank box): Enter the search term(s). This will almost always be a keyword search, and Alma will suggest non-exact matches if possible.

Zone (icon drop-down): Choose whether you want to search the Institution Zone (house), Network Zone (hierarchy boxes), or Community Zone (people)

Search button: click this to search or hit the Enter key

Advanced search: If an advanced search is available for that search type, click here to open the Advanced Search box. Not all Search Types have advanced search.


About the Search String in Basic Search

Regarding the search string:

  • Articles (such as the, a, an) in your search are ignored.
  • The asterisk ( * ) wildcard character may be used at the end of the search string only. You cannot use the asterisk wildcard if your search string contains any other special characters, including dashes/hyphens and quotes.
  • Alma finds characters with diacritics when you search using standard English characters. Your institution can turn on diacritic-sensitive searching - contact Ex Libris for support.
  • Alma saves the last 10 searches in search history for title or inventory entity searches. This list is saved indefinitely. There is currently no way to clear the list (other than to perform new searches).
  • Special characters, such as hyphen, dash, slash, and so forth, finds strings both with and without the special characters. For example, searching for a-b finds records that include either a-b or ab. Spaces separate search terms, so searching for a<space>b finds records that include both a and b anywhere (not as an exact phrase), but does not return ab.