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Last edited by Drini
February 5, 2022 | History

Open Library Search API

Open Library provides an experimental API to search.

WARNING: This is an experimental API and can change in future.

URL format

The URL format for API is simple. Take the search URL and add .json to the end. Eg:

URL Parameters

Parameter Description
q The solr query. See Search HowTo for sample queries
fields The fields to get back from solr. Use the special value * to get all fields (although be prepared for a very large response!).
To fetch availability data from, add the special value, availability. Example: /search.json?q=harry%20potter&fields=*,availability&limit=1. This will fetch the availability data of the first item in the `ia` field.

Response Format

The response with be of the following format.

    "start": 0,
    "num_found": 629,
    "docs": [

Each document specified listed in "docs" will be of the following format:

    "cover_i": 258027,
    "has_fulltext": true,
    "edition_count": 120,
    "title": "The Lord of the Rings",
    "author_name": [
        "J. R. R. Tolkien"
    "first_publish_year": 1954,
    "key": "OL27448W",
    "ia": [
    "author_key": [
    "public_scan_b": true

The fields in the doc are described by Solr schema which can be found here:

The schema is not guaranteed to be stable, but most common fields (e.g. title, IA ids, etc) should be safe to depend on.


February 5, 2022 Edited by Drini Text field no longer publicly visible
February 2, 2022 Edited by Drini Update solr schema link
November 24, 2021 Edited by Mek reverted to revision 6
November 24, 2021 Edited by Mek Edited without comment.
February 27, 2013 Created by Anand Chitipothu documented search API.