Digital Collection REST API Documentation

The information below provides the basic endpoints currently available at the
The main endpoints are demonstrated followed by information on basic search query and result endpoints.
A Note on Perfection

We strive for perfection in our descriptive metadata, but since a majority of the collection objects are still awaiting detailed art-historical research, there are bound to be errors and ommissions. We encourage the public to contact us with corrections


REST API Item Endpoints

The most commonly used item endpoints are the endpoints that return the citation and the citation with files.  These endpoints support json, json-p, xml, and protobuf and represent a SobekCM BriefItem object.  In addition, the metadata can be returned as XML in several standard formats.  Finally, an endpoint for a random item from an instance is included for random fun.

Citation Only

This endpoint includes only the citation information about an item and is a serialized instance of the SobekCM BriefItem object, without any images, downloads, or table of content information.  Below are some example URLs:

Brief View ( Citation and Files )

This endpoint is similar to the citation only endpoint above, excep the BriefItem includes the images, downloads, and the table of content information from the structure map in the METS for the digital resource.  Below are the same example URLs, including the file information:

Metadata Standards XML API

The metadata associated with the item (and included in the Citation Only endpoint) can also be requested in a variety of standard formats.  These responses are written from the digital resource METS file data upon request.  Responses from this endpoint are ONLY served as XML, as these are implementations of standard XML schemas.

Random Item

This method gets a random (public) item and returns just the matching BibID and VID. This is used to allow a link to go to random item within an instance. This value is returned only as JSON-P, as it is generally consumed with client-side javascript.

The URL for this endpoint is: {BASEURL} / engine / items / random

For example,


Search Results & Statistics Endpoints

Results Endpoint

This endpoint returns search results on a search term (t) with 20 items per page. The items are a smaller set of metadata elements than the entire citation [Accession, Title, Creator, Date, Descriptive Terms, and Thumbnail Image filename] based on a keyword included in the request URL.  Here is the most basic all-field search, for the term 'vase'.

paging is done by adding a page number value (p) like this:

The thumbnail url has to be constructed using the bibid. The url is strutured like this:


where "xx" are the parts of the bib id broken into pairs separated by slashes.

So, in for example the bib ID is WOLF061613 and the file name is XC1992_837_1_001thm.jpg so the url is:


Statistics Endpoint

There is another endpoint for search that returns a "stats" object which includes the result count (allowing page count calculation) along with information about facets and more. So for the "vase" example the search url to get this object looks like this:

Searching a Specific Field

A field code (f) can be added to either of the search endpoints to focus search on a specific field or facet of the data. See below for a complete list of the fields and their codes. So, for example if we know the accession number of an item is "86.2.146" then we and "&f=AN" (as "AN" is the code for accession number) to the end of the search url like this:

Or, for exmple to return all items with "1913" in the Date field:

List of Field Codes
  • ZZ   Anywhere
  • AB   Abstract
  • AN   Accession Number
  • UA   Aggregation
  • SU   All Subjects
  • BI   BibID
  • CI   City
  • CO   Country
  • CT   County
  • AU   Creator
  • DO   Donor
  • ET   Edition
  • FO   Format
  • FR   Frequency
  • GE   Genre
  • HO   Holding Location
  • ID   Identifier
  • MI   Included Files
  • LA   Language
  • MA   Material
  • SN   Name as Subject
  • NO   Notes
  • DA   Publication Date
  • PP   Publication Place
  • PU   Publisher
  • SO   Source Institution
  • SP   Spatial Coverage
  • ST   State
  • TO   Subject Keyword
  • TA   Target Audience
  • DY   Temporal Year
  • TI   Title
  • TS   Title as Subject
  • TC   TOC
  • TY   Type