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Last edited by George
October 27, 2008 | History

Open Library Covers API

The OL Covers API provides a programmatic method to access the book covers and author photos available in the Open Library Covers Repository. All covers and author images are contributed by the Open Library community through an easy to use interface. Images can be uploaded at any resolution. There is a discussion on launchpad regarding possibly restricting upload size in the future.

BOOK COVERS

Book covers can be accessed using ISBN, OCLC, LCCN, OLID (Open Library ID) and ID (internal cover ID). The covers are available in 3 sizes S (suitable for use as a thumbnail on a results page on Open Library), M (suitable for display on a details page on Open Library) and L.

The URL pattern to access book covers is:

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/$key/$key/$value-$size.jpg

Where

key can be any one of ISBN, OLCC, LCCN, OLID and ID (case-insensitive)
value is the value of the chosen key
size can be one of S, M and L for small, medium and large respectively.

The following example returns small sized cover image for book with ISBN 0385472579.

The same cover can be accessed in multiple ways using different keys.


http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/olid/OL7440033M-S.jpg

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/isbn/0385472579-S.jpg

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/isbn/9780385472579-S.jpg

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/lccn/93005405-S.jpg

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/oclc/28419896-S.jpg

http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/id/240727-S.jpg




AUTHOR PHOTOS

Author photos can be accessed only using OLID and ID. The URL Pattern for accessing author photos is:

http://covers.openlibrary.org/a/$key/$key/$value-$size.jpg

For example the following is the photograph of Donald E. Knuth from the Open Library.


http://covers.openlibrary.org/a/olid/OL229501A-S.jpg

History

May 3, 2011 Edited by George Edited without comment.
April 14, 2011 Edited by Anand Chitipothu Edited without comment.
April 14, 2011 Edited by Anand Chitipothu Edited without comment.
April 14, 2011 Edited by Anand Chitipothu Edited without comment.
October 27, 2008 Created by Anand Chitipothu covers api docs