November 25, 2015

New York Public Library Launches Digital Collections API

Cool! Exciting!

Access to over 1 million objects and records.

From the NYPL Blog:

The New York Public Library is pleased to announce the release of its Digital Collections API (application programming interface). This tool allows software developers both in and outside of the library to write programs that search our digital collections, process the descriptions of each object, and find links to the relevant pages on the NYPL Digital Gallery. We are very excited to see what the brilliant developers who use our digital library will create.

The post continues with background and comments from Doug Reside, Digital Curator of Performing Arts, Library for the Performing Arts, NYPL.

Reside’s comments include:

This API, built by developers in our IT Group, allows computers to search our digital library and get back information about the objects along with links to the relevant Digital Gallery page. Of course, as a human, you can already do that using the Digital Gallery itself, but you can only perform one search at a time. If you wanted to make a chart of say, the most commonly occurring words in the titles of the Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection, it would take a while. Now that the API makes this data available to computer programs, though, it wouldn’t take a great deal of coding to generate such a chart.

Direct to API Documentation

Visit the NYPL Digital Gallery

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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