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Last edited by Drini
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 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:$key/$key/$value-$size.jpg


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.


Author photos can be accessed only using OLID and ID. The URL Pattern for accessing author photos is:$key/$key/$value-$size.jpg

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


January 27, 2022 Edited by Drini Fix formatting
January 27, 2022 Edited by Mek adding API example
October 20, 2021 Edited by Drini http -> https
April 20, 2021 Edited by JeffKaplan Edited without comment.
October 27, 2008 Created by Anand Chitipothu covers api docs