Programmatic access to the World Digital Library

General Notes


All WDL content is translated into the 7 site languages prior to publication. All non-image URLs on the site use the first part of the URL path to select the language. Most of the examples below use /en/ but that can be replaced with any of the supported languages:

Code Language
ar Arabic
en English
es Spanish
fr French
pt Portuguese
ru Russian
zh Chinese

Contact Information

Please contact us with any questions or feedback



The most recently published items are available as RSS and Atom syndication feeds:

A list of all item pages including the last update time is available in the standard XML Sitemap format:



The standard OpenSearch protocol may be used to search the World Digital Library and retrieve results in an XML format.

Clients which support OpenSearch Description documents can be automatically configured:


Currently, the following endpoints are available using the standard parameter substitution rules:


https://www.wdl.org/en/search/opensearch-suggestions/?q={searchTerms} returns results in the suggestions format.

HTML5 Microdata

All item detail pages use HTML5 Microdata using schema.org vocabulary to describe the metadata. Microdata libraries are available for most common programming languages; you might find these tools helpful for seeing the data present on each page:


The following International Image Interoperability Framework APIs are in beta release and your feedback is welcomed:

Images 2.0

Item Page Example image reference
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/ https://content.wdl.org/iiif/1,1,1/info.json
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/785/ https://content.wdl.org/iiif/785,20,13/info.json

Presentation 2.0

The manifest can be located by appending iiif/manifest to any item detail page or by using the “IIIF Manifest” link at the bottom of the page:

Item Detail Page Manifest URL
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/ https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/manifest
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/785/ https://www.wdl.org/en/item/785/manifest

The default manifest link will redirect to either the JSON or JSON-LD endpoint based on the presence of a file-extension in the request and whether your client sent an HTTP Accept: header requesting application/ld+json. You may prefer to construct full URLs using the appropriate file extension to avoid content-negotiation:

Format Extension Example URL
JSON .json https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/iiif/manifest.json
JSON-LD .jsonld https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/iiif/manifest.jsonld

The IIIF Mirador demonstration is known to work using these manifests.


All item metadata is available as METS XML. Each item detail page has a <link rel="alternate" type="application/mets+xml"> tag with the corresponding URL. If you are scripting ingest for a number of items, simply replace the / in the item URL with .mets:

Item Detail Page METS URL
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1/ https://www.wdl.org/en/item/1.mets