API Documentation

The Open Collections API

UBC Library Open Collections provides direct programmatic access to all of the metadata and much of the media available on the website through our APIs.

Three different Open Collections API Endpoints are available to meet a variety of use cases:

  • The Open Collections REST API provides access to all collection and item-level metadata and full text transcripts, as well as the ElasticSearch search index for complex queries.
  • The Open Collections OAI-PMH API provides access to item-level metadata programmatically or for harvesting by compatible software.
  • The Open Collections IIIF API provides access to images and associated metadata programmatically or for use with IIIF-compatible image viewers.

To use the Open Collections APIs, you should first register for an API Key: Unregistered users will be limited in the number of requests that can be made.

Before using the APIs, please review and comply with our terms of use.

More information on using each of the API Endpoints can be found below. If you have feedback, questions, or want to share work that you've done using the API, please get in touch!

Quick Start

Know your way around an API and want to dive right in? Here's the essential for getting up and running with the REST API:

API Keys

To control abuse, users are encouraged to register their email address to receive an Open Collections API Key. The API Key is a string of characters that is appended to your API Request to show that it originates from a verified source. Unregistered users will be limited in the number of requests that can be made.

Open Collections API Keys are valid for all three of our APIs.

API Basics

What is an API?

At its most basic, an API, or Application Programming Interface, is made up of a set of defined methods that someone can use to communicate with a (often complex) software system, and get back responses in a way that a computer (and, with some practice, a human) can understand.

In essence, an API defines the 'language' a system speaks. Like a language, it has its own vocabulary with terms that have special meanings (e.g., property names and labels), grammar (how those property names and labels are arranged collectively, its schema), and syntax (i.e., how the information itself is arranged). Like a language, you can use it to ask questions and understand responses. And like a language, with a little practice, it can be a powerful and extensible tool for communication.

A request is a URL sent to the web server over HTTP with the expectation of getting resource items back in the form of human-readable text or data. The URL supplies the web server with everything it needs to create and return a correct response. This is called a RESTful approach to API design and is employed by the Open Collections API.

How do I use it?

  1. Register an API Key
  2. Construct a query to request item and collection metadata or search results
  3. Use your web browser, a browser plugin like Postman, or your custom code to make your request
  4. Read the response

Constructing a Request

Most data from the Open Collections API can be accessed with simple HTTP GET requests. These type of requests look essentially like the URL of a regular web page, but return data objects rather than HTML markup. These URLs can have two parts:

  • A URL or "endpoint" that indicates where to direct the query. The Open Collections API base URL is: https://oc-index.library.ubc.ca . See below for a full list of available endpoints .
  • A query string consisting of parameters that describe the data being requested. This is used for search requests, and for appending your API to your request.

For example, the following URL represents a request for a list of all the collections in Open Collections, with a mock API key appended as a parameter:


Parsing A Response

The Open Collections API returns responses in JSON format by default, and some endpoints can return other formats on request. See the API Reference section for more details.

Tip: Browser extensions such as the Chrome JSON Formatter can make viewing and working with JSON in your browser much easier.

Tip: JSON stores data in 'objects,' that do not always translate easily into tabular formats, but tools such as this JSON to CSV converter or Open Refine can help you get API data into a spreadsheet or table if that's what you need.

Learn More: UBC Library Research Commons

The UBC Library Research Commons provides support and training for UBC students and researchers who are interested in learning to use APIs. Sign up for a workshop or consultation at https://researchcommons.library.ubc.ca, or check out the course materials from their Introduction to APIs workshop on GitHub.

The Open Collections REST API

Metadata Endpoints

Collection and item metadata is requested from the Open Collections API by querying specifically structured endpoints. All metadata endpoints begin with the API base url, https://oc-index.library.ubc.ca, followed by a specific path for the collection and item being requested.


A collection is a reference to a set of items indexed in Open Collections. Collections have two RESTful endpoints associated with them, a /collections/ endpoint that returns information about the collection, and and a /collections/.../items/ endpoint that lists the contents of the collection.

Collection Metadata

The collection metadata endpoints return data describing the contents of a collection.

The collections endpoints are constructed as follows, where [:name] is the nickname of a collection in Open Collections:


For example, the following endpoint returns the metadata associated with the Berkeley Posters Collection:


Mappings for all collection nicknames are available here .

Collection Items

The collections items endpoints return a list all items in a collections. There are two types of collection items endpoints, one returns a simple list of all items in a collection (ids only), and the other returns a paginated list of all items in the collection with a richer subset of metadata.

The collection items endpoints to return a full list of items are constructed as follows, where [:name] is the nickname of the collection:


For example, the following returns a list of all items in the Arkley collection:


To return a paginated list of items with richer metadata, add the limit and offset parameters as in the example below, where [:limit] is the number of items to return per page, and [:offset] is the index of the first item on the page (i.e. with a page size of 10, the second page would start with the offset 10).


For example, the following returns the first ten items from the the Arkley collection:


Item Metadata

An "item" in open collection is typically a single piece of content indexed in Open Collections. The content can be, for example, a book, an image, a video, and in some cases can have multiple components (ie. a PDF and an audio file). The /item/ endpoint returns data

The following request returns the metadata for a specific item, where [:name] is the nickname of the item's parent collection, and [:itemId] is the item's unique identifier:


For example, the following returns the metadata from a single item in the the Arkley collection:


Tip: You can grab the requisite [:name] and [:itemId] values from the collection/.../items endpoint.

Search Endpoint

The Open Collections /search/[:api_version]/ endpoint returns search results and metadata from the system's ElasticSearch index, where [:api_version] is the version of ElasticSearch syntax to use (currently we are supporting 8.5). The endpoint supports GET requests with a limited subset of parameters, and more complete access to the full ElasticSearch feature set via POST request (see Advanced Usage).

This endpoint returns a basic set of search results, and [:query] is your query string. The endpoint supports basic strings and Lucene query syntax :


For example, the following will submit a search for the term "cat":


To limit your search to a specific collection, you can use the 'index' parameter where [:index] is the nickname of the collection or collections you would like to search (multiple collection nicknames can be combined with commas):


For example, the following will submit a search for the term "cat" in the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collections and The Alice Arm and Anyox Herald newspaper collection:


To limit your search to a specific metadata value, you can use the 'term' parameter where [:field] is the name of the metadata field, and [:term] is the value you would like to match. Multiple fields and terms can be specified, separated by semicolons:


For example, the following will submit a search for the term "cat" where "Type" is "Still Image" and "creator" is "Kull, Bob". Note that adding ".raw" to the field name enforces an exact match, and that the values are URI-encoded to prevent errors:


See the full list of supported parameters in the API Reference or at https://oc-index.library.ubc.ca/search/help . Note that parameter values should be URI-encoded to avoid errors.

Advanced Usage

For more advanced use cases, the Open Collections Search API provides access to the full power of its underlying ElasticSearch index, including aggregations (useful for data visualization and analysis), advanced searching and filtering, geolocation, and much more (everything except custom script fields).

ElasticSearch version 8.5 Query DSL objects can be submitted to the /search/8.5/ endpoint via POST request and can be combined with the Open Collections search URI parameters. Query DSL object values will take precedence over URI parameter values.

Learn more about the ElasticSearch API:

REST API Reference

API Endpoints

The following endpoints are available for use:

Method Endpoint Description Status
GET collections Returns a list of all collections Online
GET collections/:collection_identifier Returns the metadata for a specific collection Online
GET collections/:collection_identifier/download/collection Returns a GZIP download of a specific collection's metadata Online
GET collections/:collection_identifier/items Returns a list of all items for a specific collection Online
GET collections/:collection_identifier/items/:item_identifier Returns the metadata for a specific collection's single item Online
GET collections/:collection_identifier/_total Returns the item count of a specific collection Online
GET /search/help Returns list of accepted OC Search API query parameters. Online
GET /search/8.5 Accepts OC Search API parameters, returns search results. Online
POST /search/8.5 Accepts ElasticSearch 8.5 Query DSL objects, returns search results, aggregation data, and more. Online


Collection ID Collection Name
ubcstuhan AMS Student Handbooks
ams Alma Mater Society Image Collection
59371 American Physical Society Northwestern Section Annual Meeting (APS-NW) (11th : 2009)
artefacts Ancient Artefacts
mccormick Andrew McCormick Maps and Prints
auce Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) fonds
bcbooks BC Historical Books
bcdocs BC Historical Documents
bcsessional BC Sessional Papers
48630 BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos
berkpost Berkeley 1968-1973 Poster Collection
biblos Biblos
bch British Columbia History
59367 British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium
ccmms CCS - Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society
chockon CCS - Chock On Fong Fonds
gri CCS - Gorsebrook Research Institute for Atlantic Studies
loktin CCS - Henry Lok-Tin Lee
instrcc CCS - INSTRCC
kcca CCS - Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association
louie CCS - Louie Papers
normankwong CCS - Norman Kwong Collection
bicklee CCS - Ron Bick Lee Fonds
wahshun CCS - Wah Shun Company
85451 CES Speaker Series
59370 Canadian Summer School on Quantum Information (CSSQI) (10th : 2010)
capilano Capilano Timber Company Fonds
darwin Charles Darwin Letters
chineserare Chinese Rare Books
chungobject Chung Objects
chungosgr Chung Oversize and Graphic Materials
chungphotos Chung Photographs
chungpub Chung Published Works
chungtext Chung Textual Materials
citraudio CiTR Audiotapes
59404 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (77th : 2008)
46624 Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry
cg Creative Giving
77752 Crime and Punishment at 150 (2016)
davidconde David Conde Fonds
davidsonia Davidsonia
delgamuukw Delgamuukw Trial Transcripts
55474 Digital Library Federation (DLF) (2015)
discorder Discorder
dorothyburn Dorothy Burnett Bookbinding Tools
djcox Doug and Joyce Cox Research Collection
24 Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+
ecrosby Emma Crosby Letters
squeezes Epigraphic Squeezes
etheljohns Ethel Johns Fonds
focus FOCUS
52383 Faculty Research and Publications
first100theses First Hundred Theses
fisherman Fisherman Publishing Society Collection
florence Florence Nightingale Letters
frenchrevo French Revolution
germanconsulate German Consulate fonds
42591 Graduate Research [non-thesis]
gvrdmaps Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps
bullock H. Bullock-Webster fonds
stravinsky H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection
hawthorn Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection
hdoyle Henry Doyle Fonds
childrenlit Historical Children's Literature Collection
nursing History of Nursing
bbmnhibc Images of Natural History Specimens from the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC
iel Indian Education Newsletter
feeders Infant Feeders Collection
59405 Insights from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) : A symposium in honour of Myer Bloom (1993)
ifcsm Interim Forest Cover Series Maps
59585 International Conference of Institutes and Libraries for Chinese Overseas Studies (WCILCOS) (5th : 2012)
53032 International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering (ICASP) (12th : 2015)
52657 International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)
59278 International Conference on Gas Hydrates (ICGH) (6th : 2008)
53926 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges (7th : 2015)
52660 International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)
62152 International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) Colloquium
59406 Investigating Our Practices (IOP)
67657 Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Events
jphotos Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection
tokugawa Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era
jsc Japanese Special Collection
johnkeenlyside John Keenlyside Legal Research Collection
kamishibai Kamishibai Propaganda Plays
kinesis Kinesis
holland Laura Holland Fonds
67247 Leader in Residence (Okanagan)
67246 Library History and Events
494 Library Staff Publications and Research
creelman Lyle Creelman Fonds
macmillan MacMillan Bloedel Limited fonds
meiji150 Meiji at 150
81709 Meiji at 150 Podcast
59369 Metropolis British Columbia Policy Research Symposium (MBC) (2008)
upubmisc Miscellaneous Documents
42446 Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC)
60499 NEXUS Spring Institute
agassiz Newspapers - Agassiz Record
xalberniadv Newspapers - Alberni Advocate
albernip Newspapers - Alberni Pioneer News
argus Newspapers - Argus
armstrongad Newspapers - Armstrong Advance
arlaadvo Newspapers - Arrow Lake Advocate
bcln Newspapers - BC Labor News (Vancouver)
bclumber Newspapers - BC Lumberman (Vancouver)
bctu Newspapers - BC Trades Unionist (Vancouver)
xbellacoo Newspapers - Bella Coola Courier
bensun Newspapers - Bennett Sun
bcbr Newspapers - British Columbia Building Record
bcfed Newspapers - British Columbia Federationist
bcmining Newspapers - British Columbia Mining Journal
bcm Newspapers - British Columbia Musician
bcnews Newspapers - British Columbia News
xbcrecord Newspapers - British Columbia Record
bcret Newspapers - British Columbia Retailer
bct Newspapers - British Columbia Tribune (Yale)
brooklynnews Newspapers - Brooklyn News
cflacla Newspapers - Canadian Farmer Labor Advocate and Canadian Labor Advocate
canford Newspapers - Canford Radium
cascade Newspapers - Cascade Record
cassiarnews Newspapers - Cassiar News (Stewart)
chasetrib Newspapers - Chase Tribune
chilliwackfp Newspapers - Chilliwack Free Press
citizennw Newspapers - Citizen - New Westminister
cwhustler Newspapers - Clanwilliam Hustler
coalmont Newspapers - Coalmont Courier
coasmine Newspapers - Coast Miner (Van Anda)
columbiarev Newspapers - Columbia Review
courtenayrev Newspapers - Courtenay Review
cwn Newspapers - Courtenay Weekly News
cranherald Newspapers - Cranbrook Herald
croftongaz Newspapers - Crofton Gazette and Cowichan News
cumberlandis Newspapers - Cumberland Islander
dbc Newspapers - Daily British Columbian
xdbr Newspapers - Daily Building Record
enterprise Newspapers - Duncan Enterprise
eastkootmine Newspapers - East Kootenay Miner (Golden)
echo Newspapers - Echo (Duncan)
epnoh Newspapers - Enderby Progress and Northern Okanagan Herald
eveningt Newspapers - Evening Telegraph (Victoria)
evewoross Newspapers - Evening World (Rossland)
fgherald Newspapers - Fort George Herald
fraseradvanc Newspapers - Fraser Advance (Chilliwack)
gcdb Newspapers - General Conference Daily Bulletin (Victoria)
glennews Newspapers - Glenora News
goldenera Newspapers - Golden Era
goldentimes Newspapers - Golden Times
gvchinook Newspapers - Greater Vancouver Chinook
hqueek Newspapers - Hazelton Queek
xhotsprings Newspapers - Hot Springs News (Ainsworth)
htbva Newspapers - Hubert Times and Bulkley Valley Advertiser
indworld Newspapers - Industrial World (Rossland)
kwawa Newspapers - Kamloops Wawa
xkelownarec Newspapers - Kelowna Record and The Orchard City Record
kerechro Newspapers - Keremeos Chronicle
kootstar Newspapers - Kootenay Star (Revelstoke)
laborstar Newspapers - Labor Star (Vancouver)
ladysmithl Newspapers - Ladysmith Leader
ladysmithr Newspapers - Ladysmith Recorder
ladysmithsi Newspapers - Ladysmith Signal
ladysmithst Newspapers - Ladysmith Standard
ardeau Newspapers - Lardeau Eagle (Ferguson)
lardeaum Newspapers - Lardeau Mining Review (Trout Lake)
leadera Newspapers - Leader Advocate (Vancouver)
locla Newspapers - Lowery's Claim
mherald Newspapers - Mail Herald (Revelstoke)
michelr Newspapers - Michel Recorder
morninglnw Newspapers - Morning Ledger - New Westminster
mpadvocate Newspapers - Mount Pleasant Advocate (Vancouver)
ndaymine Newspapers - Nelson Daily Miner
nelsondaily Newspapers - Nelson Daily News
nwminer Newspapers - Nelson Weekly Miner
nwdn Newspapers - New Westminster Daily News
newestimes Newspapers - New Westminster Times
nicoheral Newspapers - Nicola Herald
norcoa Newspapers - North Coast (Port Simpson)
omr Newspapers - Okanagan Mining Review
omineca Newspapers - Omineca Herald (Hazelton)
ominecaminer Newspapers - Omineca Miner (Hazelton)
paccannw Newspapers - Pacific Canadian (New Westminster)
paystreak Newspapers - Paystreak (Sandon)
peloyalist Newspapers - Port Essington Loyalist
pmgazette Newspapers - Port Moody Gazette
prj Newspapers - Prince Rupert Journal
princero Newspapers - Prince Rupert Optimist
pwv Newspapers - Progress and Week – Victoria
cranbrookpro Newspapers - Prospector (Cranbrook)
proslill Newspapers - Prospector (Lillooet)
prossross Newspapers - Prospector (Rossland)
qcminer Newspapers - Quartz Creek Miner
qcislander Newspapers - Queen Charlotte Islander
redflag Newspapers - Red Flag (Vancouver)
xrevherald Newspapers - Revelstoke Herald
sfjcbce Newspapers - San Francisco Journal of Commerce B.C. Edition (Victoria)
satworld Newspapers - Saturday World (Rossland)
silsil Newspapers - Silverton Silvertonian
similkameen Newspapers - Similkameen Star
slodrill Newspapers - Slocan Drill
smreview Newspapers - Slocan Mining Review
slocanp Newspapers - Slocan Prospector
slorec Newspapers - Slocan Record
sgazette Newspapers - Surrey Gazette
surreytimes Newspapers - Surrey Times (Cloverdale)
xabpost Newspapers - The Abbotsford Post
advance Newspapers - The Advance (Midway)
alderstar Newspapers - The Aldergrove Star
aaah Newspapers - The Alice Arm and Anyox Herald
xanaconda Newspapers - The Anaconda News
xatlin Newspapers - The Atlin Claim
bcweekly Newspapers - The B.C. Weekly News
xboundarycr Newspapers - The Boundary Creek Times
xcariboosen Newspapers - The Cariboo Sentinel (Barkerville)
xcoastnews Newspapers - The Coast News (Gibsons)
commonr Newspapers - The Common Round
xcrestonrev Newspapers - The Creston Review
xcumberland Newspapers - The Cumberland News
dcanadi Newspapers - The Daily Canadian
xdailyledg Newspapers - The Daily Ledger (Ladysmith)
daytele Newspapers - The Daily Telegram
deltnews Newspapers - The Delta News
delttime Newspapers - The Delta Times
despatch Newspapers - The Despatch (Morrissey)
disledfer Newspapers - The District Ledger (Fernie)
xenderby Newspapers - The Enderby Press and Walker's Weekly
evenkoot Newspapers - The Evening Kootenaian
expressnv Newspapers - The Express (North Vancouver)
fernieled Newspapers - The Fernie Ledger (Fernie)
gfminer Newspapers - The Grand Forks Miner
xgrandforks Newspapers - The Grand Forks Sun
greemine Newspapers - The Greenwood Miner
xhedley Newspapers - The Hedley Gazette
htimes Newspapers - The Hosmer Times
xindependen Newspapers - The Independent (Vancouver)
koolib Newspapers - The Kootenay Liberal
xkootmail Newspapers - The Kootenay Mail
labours Newspapers - The Labour Statesman
ledgefern Newspapers - The Ledge (Fernie)
xledgreen Newspapers - The Ledge (Greenwood)
ledge Newspapers - The Ledge (Nakusp)
ledgenel Newspapers - The Ledge (Nelson)
xnakledge Newspapers - The Ledge (New Denver)
lilladva Newspapers - The Lillooet Advance
marytrib Newspapers - The Marysville Tribune
xmassett Newspapers - The Massett Leader
xminer Newspapers - The Miner (Nelson)
xminingrev Newspapers - The Mining Review (Sandon)
misscity Newspapers - The Mission City News
mmention Newspapers - The Morrissey Mention
mminer Newspapers - The Morrissey Miner
xmoyie Newspapers - The Moyie Leader
nanacour Newspapers - The Nanaimo Courier
nanamail Newspapers - The Nanaimo Mail
xnelsonecon Newspapers - The Nelson Economist
xnicola Newspapers - The Nicola Valley News (Merritt)
thenugget Newspapers - The Nugget
xpentimes Newspapers - The Peninsula Times
penpress Newspapers - The Penticton Press
xphoenix Newspapers - The Phoenix Pioneer
xprospector Newspapers - The Prospector (Fort Steele)
thestar Newspapers - The Star (Port Essington)
thesun Newspapers - The Sun (Port Essington)
xtribune Newspapers - The Tribune (Nelson)
vancouverw Newspapers - The Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News
thewave Newspapers - The Wave (Victoria)
xwestcall Newspapers - The Western Call (Vancouver)
truthd Newspapers - Truth - Donald
vslp Newspapers - Valley Sentinel - Langley Prairie
vanad Newspapers - Vancouver Advertiser
vanbuildrec Newspapers - Vancouver Building Record
beaverdell Newspapers - West Forks News (Beaverdell)
wclarion Newspapers - Western Clarion (Vancouver)
westho Newspapers - Westward Ho!
ymirherald Newspapers - Ymir Herald
ymirminer Newspapers - Ymir Miner
ymirmirror Newspapers - Ymir Mirror
ohs Okanagan Historical Society Reports
hundred One Hundred Poets | 百人一首
67656 Open Access Week
prism PRISM international
pedestal Pedestal
anderson Peter Anderson fonds
presrep Presidents’ Reports
75346 Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC)
punjabip Punjabi Patrika
mathison R. Mathison Collection
bookplate RBSC Bookplates
rainbow Rainbow Ranche Collection
libsenrep Report of the University Librarian to the Senate
831 Retrospective Theses and Dissertations, 1919-2007
rosetti Rosetti Studios - Stanley Park Collection
royalfisk Royal Fisk Gold Rush Letters
saga SAGA Document Collection
310 SCARP Graduating Projects
76471 Sawchen Series
51869 Science One Research Projects
senmin Senate Minutes
simpson Simpson Family Fonds
59374 Symposium on Early Modern Japanese Values and Individuality (2013)
51833 TRIUMF Reports
59368 Tailings and Mine Waste Conference
tairikunipp Tairiku Nippō (Continental Daily News)
bcreports The British Columbia Reports
alumchron The Graduate Chronicle/The UBC Alumni Chronicle/Trek/The University of British Columbia Magazine
shakespe The Shakespeare First Folio
touchpoints Touchpoints
tgdp Traité général des pesches
arkley Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection
archivesav UBC Archives Audio Recordings Collection
arphotos UBC Archives Photograph Collection
ubcavafc UBC Archives Video & Film Collection
25332 UBC Authors and Their Works Program, 1991-2006
calendars UBC Calendars
52387 UBC Community and Partner Publications
ubccong UBC Congregation Video Collection
31776 UBC Faculty Publications Lists (1928-1969)
31775 UBC Historical Sound and Moving Image Collection
ubchist UBC History
fisheries UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Records
43377 UBC Japanese Canadian Students of 1942
67634 UBC Lectures, Seminars, and Symposia
ubcavfrc UBC Legacy Video Collection
specialp UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects
framed UBC Library Framed Works Collection
ubclibnews UBC Library News
ubclsb UBC Library Staff Bulletin
ubcmedicine UBC Medicine
53169 UBC President's Speeches and Writings
641 UBC Press Publications, Supplements, and Catalogues
ubcreports UBC Reports
researchdata UBC Research Data
66428 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Reports (Graduate)
18861 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Reports (Undergraduate)
ubctp UBC Theatre Programmes
ubcyearb UBC Yearbooks
ubysseynews Ubyssey
52966 Undergraduate Research
langmann Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs
12708 Vancouver Institute Lectures
vma Vancouver Medical Association
wwposters WWI & WWII Posters
73804 West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) (38th : 2020)
manuscripts Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books
westland Westland
58233 Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) (45th : 2016)
70440 World Sanskrit Conference (WSC) (17th : 2018)
wwiphoto World War I British press photograph collection
yipsang Yip Sang Collection
63300 Ziegler Series
33381 cIRcle License Text
32457 iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies) Research Days
the432 432


To view more about our metadata terms please view this page.

Field Label Api Field Mapping Documentation
AIPUUID https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#identifierAIP
Affiliation http://vivoweb.org/ontology/core#departmentOrSchool
Aggregated Source Repository AggregatedSourceRepository http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/dataProvider
Alternate Title AlternateTitle http://purl.org/dc/terms/alternative
Bottom Bottom http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link4D
Campus Campus https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#degreeCampus
CatalogueNumber http://purl.org/dc/terms/identifier
Catalogue Record CatalogueRecord http://purl.org/dc/terms/isReferencedBy
Category Category http://purl.org/dc/terms/subject
Citation Citation https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#identifierCitation
CollectedBy http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator
Collection Collection http://purl.org/dc/terms/isPartOf
CollectorNumber https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#collectorNumber
Contents Contents http://purl.org/dc/terms/tableOfContents
Contributor Contributor http://purl.org/dc/terms/contributor
Copyright Holder CopyrightHolder https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#rightsCopyright
Country Country http://purl.org/dc/terms/coverage
Cover Cover https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#cover
Creator Creator http://purl.org/dc/terms/creator
Credits Credits http://purl.org/dc/terms/contributor
Current Current https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#current
Date Date http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/date
Date Available DateAvailable http://purl.org/dc/terms/issued
Date Created DateCreated http://purl.org/dc/terms/created
Date Issued DateIssued http://purl.org/dc/terms/issued
Degree http://vivoweb.org/ontology/core#relatedDegree
Degree Grantor DegreeGrantor https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#degreeGrantor
Depth Of Capture DepthOfCapture http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link97
Depth Of Water DepthOfWater http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link45
Description Description http://purl.org/dc/terms/description
DigitalResourceOriginalRecord http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/aggregatedCHO
Distance Off Shore DistanceOffshore http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link120
Edition Edition https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#edition
Episode Episode https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#descriptionEpisode
Extent Extent http://purl.org/dc/terms/extent
File Format FileFormat http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/format
FileUUID https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#identifierFile
FullText http://www.w3.org/2009/08/skos-reference/skos.html#note
Genre Genre http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/hasType
Geographic Location GeographicLocation http://purl.org/dc/terms/spatial
Graduation Date GraduationDate http://vivoweb.org/ontology/core#dateIssued
Grant Funding Agency GrantFundingAgency https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#hasGrantFunder
HasView http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/hasView
Identifier Identifier http://purl.org/dc/terms/identifier
DOI IsShownAt http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/isShownAt
Language Language http://purl.org/dc/terms/language
Latitude http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#lat
License http://purl.org/dc/terms/license
Locality http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link251
Longitude http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#long
Map https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#map
Method Of Capture MethodOfCapture https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#captureMethod
Notes Notes http://www.w3.org/2009/08/skos-reference/skos.html#note
Original Preserved OriginalPreserved https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#originalPreserved
Peer Review Status PeerReviewStatus https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#peerReviewStatus
Person Or Corporation PersonOrCorporation http://purl.org/dc/terms/subject
Program Program https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#degreeDiscipline
Project Website ProjectWebsite http://purl.org/dc/terms/relation
Provenance http://purl.org/dc/terms/provenance
Provider http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/provider
Province or State ProvinceOrState http://purl.org/dc/terms/spatial
Publisher Publisher http://purl.org/dc/terms/publisher
Publisher DOI PublisherDOI https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#publisherDOI
RBSCLocation http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/currentLocation
Reference Reference https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#reference
Rights http://purl.org/dc/terms/rights
Rights URI RightsURI https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#rightsURI
Scholarly Level ScholarlyLevel https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#scholarLevel
Series Series http://purl.org/dc/terms/isPartOf
Shore Shore https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#shore
Sort Date SortDate http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/date
Source Source http://purl.org/dc/terms/source
Stream Width StreamWidth https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#streamWidth
Subject Subject http://purl.org/dc/terms/subject
Supervisor Supervisor http://purl.org/dc/terms/contributor
Temperature Temperature http://www.fao.org/fi/figis/devcon/fimes/doc/index.html#Link253
Tide Tide https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#tide
Time http://purl.org/dc/terms/temporal
Title Title http://purl.org/dc/terms/title
Translation http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/isDerivativeOf
Type Type http://purl.org/dc/terms/type
URI URI https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#identifierURI
Vegetation Vegetation https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#vegetation
Water Water https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#water
Watershed Watershed https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms#watershed

Search Parameters

The open collections https://oc-index.library.ubc.ca/search/8.5 endpoint accepts the following paremeters in GET requests:

Parameter Description Default Value Notes
q Query string * Accepts basic string or boolean query (lucene query syntax). should be uri encoded.
size Number of responses 20
from Index of first result 0 Used to paginate through results (ie. use '19' to return results starting with the 20th hit)
index Search index oc Used to limit search to specific collections (use collection 'nickname'). 'oc' searches all content. supports multiple values (comma-separated)
sort How to sort results _score,desc Comma-separated: [:field],[:order]. accepts '_score' and metadata field names, and 'asc'/'desc'
term Filter by metadata field contents, must match all Comma-separated: field,filter_on. supports multiple value pairs separated by semicolons. use [:field].raw to match full text of field value.
terms Filter by metadata field contents, match any in a given field Comma-separated: field,filter_on. supports multiple value pairs separated by semicolons. use [:field].raw to match full text of field value.
range Limit to range of values for a metadata field Comma-separated: field,gte,lte,date_format(date_format is optional. if not specified, the provided date will be matched with all available formats until a match is found). only works on numeric fields: e.g. sortdate accepts milliseconds. accepted date formats are: yyyy-mm-dd, yyyy-mm, y, date_time_no_millis, date_hour_minute_second, epoch_millis
source Array of field names to return Comma separated. if omitted a default set of metadata will be returned.
key Api key Requests without an api key will be rate limited

Output Formats

Responses from the API are returned in JSON by default however there are a number of different formats available which we will show you how to request for below.

GET Requests

For GET requests you should replace :outputFormat in the URL below with the format you want returned:
https://oc-index.library.ubc.ca/collections/ [:name] /items/ [:itemId] /output-format/ [:outputFormat]

POST Requests

For POST requests you should set the HTTP Accept header to the format you want returned.

Available Formats

Description GET Value POST Value
Json conforming to ubc metadata manual json application/json
Json-ld (with ubc property tags) ubc+json application/json
Json-ld ld application/json
Json-ld ld+json application/json
Rdf/xml from json-ld (deprecated) ld+rdf application/xml
Rdf+json rdf in json rdf+json application/xml
Rdf/xml rdf application/xml
Rdf/xml xml application/xml
Xml stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) datacite application/xml
Turtle stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) dx text/plain
Turtle stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) dx+turtle text/plain
Bibtex stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) dx+bibtex text/plain
Ris stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) dx+ris text/plain
Rdf stored at datacite (the metadata attached to the document doi) dx+rdf application/xml
Plain text (turtle) turtle text/plain
Plain text (ntriples) ntriples text/plain
Just the item's fulltext (gosh all that full text!!) plaintext text/plain

Example Scripts

Example scripts for working with the API in a variety of languages can be found on the UBC Library GitHub.

Get all items from a collection

To get all items from a collection you need to request the collection first and retrieve all its item ids and then loop through each item using the API.

Harvest full text of all items in a collection

Note: not all collections have full text, we've specifically chosen one of the smaller collections with full text to show you how to programmatically loop through items and export the full text.

Download Collection Data

This script should be run from a terminal window, it allows you to download items metadata into a format of your choosing using the API.

The Open Collections OAI-PMH API

What is OAI-PMH?

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. Open Collections’ OAI-PMH repository is a network accessible server that can process the 6 OAI-PMH requests to expose metadata to harvesters.

Note: To access Open Collections’ OAI-PMH you need to use a registered api_key in your request header. You can Register an API key if you don’t have one already. The following command shows how to add the api_key into request header using curl command:

Repository Info and Identifier Format

The Identify verb is used to retrieve information about the repository:


The server responds with XML data describing the repository characteristics including identifier format:

<OAI-PMH xmlns="http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/ http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/OAI-PMH.xsd">
    <request verb="Identify">https://oc2-index-dev-ah.library.ubc.ca/oai</request>
        <repositoryName>Open Collections</repositoryName>
            <oai-identifier xmlns="http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai-identifier"
                xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai-identifier http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai-identifier.xsd">

OAI-PMH Commands

Verb Summary and Usage Notes Example
GetRecord This verb is used to retrieve an individual metadata record from the repository.
Required arguments:
identifier, metadataPrefix
Identify This verb is used to retrieve information about the repository. https://oce-index.library.ubc.ca/oai?verb=Identify
ListIdentifiers This verb is an abbreviated form of ListRecords , retrieving only headers rather than  records .
Required arguments:
Optional arguments:
from, until, set
Exclusive arguments:
ListMetadataFromats This verb is used to retrieve the metadata formats available from the repository.
Optional arguments:
ListRecords This verb is used to harvest records from the repository.
Required arguments:
Optional arguments:
from, until, set
Exclusive arguments:
ListSets This verb is used to retrieve the set structure of the repository, useful for selective harvesting .
Exclusive arguments:

To learn more about the OAI-PMH and request/verb details please see http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/openarchivesprotocol.html

The Open Collections IIIF API

UBC Open Collections uses the International Image Interoperability Framework ("IIIF") standard to display image content in the site, and provides access to this API through the OC IIIF API endpoint. This endpoint can return images resized and modified to specific specifications as well as metadata ("manifests") associated with the images, and can be used to view content in a number of different IIIF-compatible viewers. Requests can be made to the Open Collections IIIF Endpoint using IIIF 2.0 syntax at:


IIIF API References

Some basic examples are included below, but for full details on using the IIIF standard, including the specific syntax and parameters available please consult the official documentation here:

Note: When working with results from the Open Collections Metadata API the item identifiers need to have the dot replaced with a dash to work with the IIIF API. For instance '1.0001258' would become '1-0001258'

Example: Requesting a Specific Image Size

If you just want a wallpaper of a specific size we recommend that you first use the image viewer on your item of choice to crop the image (using the crop tool) and then click the 'image' icon to get directed to the IIIF URL for the image. From there you can then enter your screen resolution in the URL and save the image.

Once you've found an image you like, you can modify the URL to get the correct sized desktop background:


If we wanted to remove the excess borders we could replace 'full' in the [:region] part of the IIIF url with the crop coordinates: