The findit API

This site provides information about items available to you through GW Libraries and our consortial peer libraries. It's available to everyone to use, without restriction.

If you want to use this service to create bookmarks, or use the data in some way other than what we're providing, we can help you do that, with link patterns, and with raw data.

Link patterns in findit

The standard URL for any item in findit is its WRLC bibliographic identifier, or "bib id". Every request to findit should result in a URL like this:

/item/3992408

In this example, 3992408 is the bib id.

This bookmark is stable, which is to say: if you want to bookmark it, please do. As long as this item is in our consortium catalog, this link will resolve to all the information we can provide you about the item and its availability.

There's an additional way you can create links to findit: using standard identifiers like ISBN and ISSN. The example above is a book, with ISBN 0439136350. ISBN and ISSN are very common, and it can be useful to create a link using these values. findit supports this kind of link:

/isbn/0439136350
/issn/0000-0019

There's one more identifier that redirects like this, and though it might be most useful to us librarians, you can use it too. It's for the OCLC number of an item:

/oclc/00162792

It should work with a redirect to an /item/[bib id] link, just like ISBN and ISSN links.

Raw data from findit in JSON

We do our best to lay out the information on findit pages as clearly as we can, but maybe you just want the raw data under the hood. You can have it! Just add ".json" to the end of any /item/[bib id] URL:

/item/3992408.json

Adding ".json" after the URL returns the brief bibliographic information and all the holding details. You can retrieve the MARC fields for the entire the bibliographic record, without the holding details, by adding "/marc.json" after the item id.

We're using JSON because it's useful in most every programming language. You should be able to use your language of choice to process this data.

In each of these records, basic bibliographic data is at the top level, and separate holdings data is listed one by one. The data itself reflects several aspects of how we've managed data in libraries over many decades, so it might seemed odd if you've never seen anything like it before. It should mostly be self-explanatory, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask us about it.

Limits on use

This system pulls data from several different sources. We and our colleagues in our consortium depend on these sources to keep our libraries running. If we find automated, heavy use of this service that negatively impacts the performance or availability of it or any of the related systems it uses, many people in our communities may be affected.

We reserve the right to block or limit access to this system by any users or automated agents that are impacting its performance or availability.

If you are interested in bulk access to this data, or data like it, let us know directly. We'd be happy to discuss your interest and see if we can help.