How do I use Library APIs (like LibraryCloud)?

Library APIs (application programming interfaces) let you access structured information about library collections. To use an API, you construct a URL that sends a request. You can use your browser, a special app, or a programming language to send requests. 


LibraryCloud is the best API to start with, because it’s a centralized store of metadata from across Harvard’s various cataloging systems. To get started with LibraryCloud, open up a new browser tab and build the URL.


  1. Start with the base: https://api.lib.harvard.edu/v2/items
  2. Add a question mark to start the query section: ?
  3. Add the desired parameters. Use an equals sign to pair the name of the field with the term. Separate parameters with an ampersand: q=charles river&originPlace=boston
  4. Paste the full URL you created in your browser and go: https://api.lib.harvard.edu/v2/items?q=charles river&originPlace=boston


Learn more about Harvard Library APIs, or look up LibraryCloud field names and other details.

Service Alert:

In observance of Independence Day, there will be no library services Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 5, 2021. There may be a slight delay in our responses to inquiries received over the long weekend. If you're experiencing an ongoing technical issue when you attempt to access library materials with your HarvardKey, please report it to Library Technology Services.

 

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