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Object metadata harvesting API

The Rijksmuseum offers an API featuring the OAI-PMH protocol (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). The OAI-PMH standard is widely used in the cultural heritage sector to support harvesting metadata of collections. The Rijksmuseum OAI-PMH API provides access to more than 600,000 descriptions of objects (metadata) and digital images from the Rijksmuseum collection. An example harvester is available on GitHub to help you get started quickly.

Access to the OAI-PMH API

To access the data, you will first need to obtain an API key. You can do this via the advanced settings of your Rijksstudio account. You will be given a key instantly upon request.

Metadata formats

The datasets are provided via a simple XML web service. The following metadata formats are available:

The conversion_oai_formats repository can provide insights in how Rijksmuseum data is mapped to these metadata formats.

Sets of objects

The following sets of objects can be retrieved using the ListRecords and ListIdentifiers verbs:

  • subject:EntireSet All available object metadata.
  • subject:EntirePublicDomainSet All public domain objects.
  • subject:PublicDomainImages All public domain objects with an image.
  • subject:OnDisplay All objects currently on display in the Rijksmuseum.
  • type:prints All the works on paper.

Omitting the set parameter will default to the set of all available objects.

Verbs

A verb is used to indicate what data to retrieve. The following verbs can be used:

Every request to the OAI-PMH API must be accompanied by your API key and a verb parameter:

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=[verb]

ListRecords

GET /oai/[api-key]?verb=ListRecords retrieves an entire set of metadata.

Parameter Format Default Notes
set a-z|0-9 all objects The set of objects to harvest.
metadataPrefix dc / edm_dc / lido   Required: the metadata format of the result.
resumptionToken a-z|0-9   The flow control token returned by a previous ListRecords request.
from YYYY-MM-DD / YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ earliest datestamp Parameter for selective harvesting, based on a specified date range. Specifies a bound interpreted as “greater than or equal to”.
until YYYY-MM-DD / YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ most recent datestamp Parameter for selective harvesting, based on a specified date range. Specifies a bound interpreted as “less than or equal to”.

Example request ListRecords

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=ListRecords&set=subject:EntirePublicDomainSet&metadataPrefix=dc

This request will return the first 20 records in the dataset of all public domain objects. A resumptionToken element is included at the end of the response, which can be used as a parameter to request the next 20 records in the database. Resumption tokens expire over time, which is why it is recommended to use a script to harvest data.

Example response ListRecords

Each object description is included in the XML response as a record. The header includes an identifier and date stamp. The metadata includes fields based on the metadata format definitions, in this case Dublin Core:

<ListRecords>
<record>
  <header>
    <identifier>oai:rijksmuseum.nl:SK-A-3580</identifier>
    <datestamp>2019-09-04T11:13:53Z</datestamp>
  </header>
  <metadata>
    <oai_dc:dc>
      <dc:identifier>http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.6274</dc:identifier>
      <dc:identifier>SK-A-3580</dc:identifier>
      <dc:title>De Singelbrug bij de Paleisstraat in Amsterdam</dc:title>
      <dc:creator>Breitner, George Hendrik</dc:creator>
      <dc:subject>Paleisstraat</dc:subject>
      <dc:subject>Singel</dc:subject>
      <dc:description>Breitner maakte vaak zelf foto’s als voorbereiding op zijn schilderijen. Ook van dit schilderij is een aantal van zulke voorstudies bekend. De manier waarop de vrouw recht op ons af loopt en de afsnijding van het beeld doen heel fotografisch aan. Aanvankelijk was hier een dienstmeid geschilderd, maar na een negatieve kritiek vond de kunsthandel die zijn schilderijen verkocht het maar beter dat Breitner er een dame van maakte.</dc:description>
      <dc:date>1896</dc:date>
      <dc:date>1898</dc:date>
      <dc:type>schilderij</dc:type>
      <dc:format>olieverf</dc:format>
      <dc:format>doek</dc:format>
      <dc:language>nl</dc:language>
      <dc:publisher>Rijksmuseum</dc:publisher>
      <dc:rights>http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/</dc:rights>
      <dc:coverage>Amsterdam</dc:coverage>
    </oai_dc:dc>
  </metadata>
</record>
<!-- more results... -->
<resumptionToken completeListSize="581445">MXxkY3wyMDE4LTA3LTEyVDEzOjA5OjE2fHN1YmplY3Q6RW</resumptionToken>
</ListRecords>

GetRecord

GET /oai/[api-key]?verb=GetRecord retrieves an individual metadata record.

Parameter Format Default Notes
identifier a-z|0-9   Required: specifies the identifier of the object (e.g. oai:rijksmuseum.nl:sk-c-5).
metadataPrefix dc / edm_dc / lido   Required: the metadata format of the result.

Example request GetRecord

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=dc&identifier=oai:rijksmuseum.nl:sk-c-5

This request will return the object description of the Nightwatch (SK-C-5).

Example response GetRecord

An object description is included in the XML response as a record. The header includes an identifier and date stamp. The metadata includes fields based on the metadata format definitions, in this case Dublin Core:

<GetRecord>
<record>
  <header>
    <identifier>oai:rijksmuseum.nl:sk-c-5</identifier>
    <datestamp>2019-07-31T05:12:59Z</datestamp>
  </header>
  <metadata>
    <record>
      <header>
        <identifier>oai:rijksmuseum.nl:SK-C-5</identifier>
        <datestamp>2019-07-31T07:12:59Z</datestamp>
      </header>
      <metadata>
        <oai_dc:dc>
          <dc:identifier>http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.5216</dc:identifier>
          <dc:identifier>SK-C-5</dc:identifier>
          <dc:title>De Nachtwacht</dc:title>
          <dc:creator>Rijn, Rembrandt van</dc:creator>
          <dc:subject>Amsterdam</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Banninck Cocq, Frans</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Ruytenburch, Willem van</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Visscher Cornelisen, Jan</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Kemp, Rombout</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Engelen, Reijnier Janszn</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Bolhamer, Barent Harmansen</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Keijser, Jan Adriaensen</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Willemsen, Elbert</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Leijdeckers, Jan Claesen</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Ockersen, Jan</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Bronchorst, Jan Pietersen</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Wormskerck, Harman Jacobsen</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Roy, Jacob Dircksen de</dc:subject>
          <dc:subject>Heede, Jan van der</dc:subject>
          <dc:description>Rembrandts beroemdste en grootste schilderij werd gemaakt voor de Kloveniersdoelen. Dit was een van de drie hoofdkwartieren van de Amsterdamse schutterij, de burgerwacht van de stad. Rembrandt was de eerste die op een schuttersstuk alle figuren in actie weergaf. De kapitein, in het zwart, geeft zijn luitenant opdracht dat de compagnie moet gaan marcheren. De schutters stellen zich op. Met behulp van licht vestigde Rembrandt de aandacht op belangrijke details, zoals het handgebaar van de kapitein en het kleine meisje op de voorgrond. Zij is de mascotte van de schutters. De naam Nachtwacht is pas veel later ontstaan, toen men dacht dat het om een nachtelijk tafereel ging.</dc:description>
          <dc:date>1642</dc:date>
          <dc:type>schilderij</dc:type>
          <dc:format>doek</dc:format>
          <dc:format>olieverf</dc:format>
          <dc:language>nl</dc:language>
          <dc:publisher>Rijksmuseum</dc:publisher>
          <dc:rights>http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/</dc:rights>
          <dc:coverage>Amsterdam</dc:coverage>
        </oai_dc:dc>
      </metadata>
    </record>
  </metadata>
</record>
</GetRecord>

ListMetadataFormats

GET /oai/[api-key]?verb=ListMetadataFormats retrieves a list of available metadata formats.

Example request ListMetadataFormats

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=ListMetadataFormats

This request will return a list of available metadata formats.

Example response ListMetadataFormats

Each metadata format element includes the prefix that can be used as a parameter in other requests, the schema and the name space.

<ListMetadataFormats>
  <metadataFormat>
    <metadataPrefix>lido</metadataPrefix>
    <schema>http://www.lido-schema.org/schema/v1.0/lido-v1.0.xsd</schema>
    <metadataNamespace>http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/</metadataNamespace>
  </metadataFormat>
  <metadataFormat>
    <metadataPrefix>dc</metadataPrefix>
    <schema>http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai_dc.xsd</schema>
    <metadataNamespace>http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/</metadataNamespace>
  </metadataFormat>
  <metadataFormat>
    <metadataPrefix>edm_dc</metadataPrefix>
    <schema>http://www.europeana.eu/schemas/edm/EDM.xsd</schema>
    <metadataNamespace>http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/</metadataNamespace>
  </metadataFormat>
  <!-- more results... -->
</ListMetadataFormats>

ListSets

GET /oai/[api-key]?verb=ListSets retrieves the available sets of objects.

Example request ListSets

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=ListSets

This request will return a list of available sets of objects.

Example response ListSets

Each set includes a descriptive name and a set identifier, that can be used as a parameter in other requests.

<ListSets>
  <set>
    <setSpec>subject:EntirePublicDomainSet</setSpec>
    <setName>EntirePublicDomainSet</setName>
  </set>
  <set>
    <setSpec>subject:PublicDomainImages</setSpec>
    <setName>PublicDomainImages</setName>
  <set>
    <setSpec>type:prints</setSpec>
    <setName>Prints</setName>
  </set>
  <set>
    <setSpec>type:fashion</setSpec>
    <setName>Fashion</setName>
  </set>
  <!-- more results... -->
</ListSets>

ListIdentifiers

GET /oai/[api-key]?verb=ListIdentifiers retrieves headers with identifiers of objects. This verb is an abbreviated form of ListRecords, retrieving only headers rather than records.

Parameter Format Default Notes
set a-z|0-9 all objects The set of objects to harvest.
metadataPrefix dc / edm_dc / lido   Required: the metadata format of the result.
resumptionToken a-z|0-9   The flow control token returned by a previous ListRecords request.
from YYYY-MM-DD / YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ earliest datestamp Parameter for selective harvesting, based on a specified date range. Specifies a bound interpreted as “greater than or equal to”.
until YYYY-MM-DD / YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ most recent datestamp Parameter for selective harvesting, based on a specified date range. Specifies a bound interpreted as “less than or equal to”.

Example request ListIdentifiers

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/api/oai/[api-key]?verb=ListIdentifiers&set=subject:EntirePublicDomainSet&metadataPrefix=dc

This request will return the first 20 headers in the dataset of all public domain objects. A resumptionToken element is included at the end, which can be used as parameter to return the next headers in the dataset. Resumption tokens expire over time, which is why it is recommended to use a script to harvest data.

Example response ListIdentifiers

Each header includes the identifier of the object and a date stamp. A date stamp indicates when a record was created, deleted, or modified.

<ListIdentifiers>
  <header>
    <identifier>BK-1975-81</identifier>
    <datestamp>2017-07-31T19:34:40Z</datestamp>
  </header>
  <header>
    <identifier>NG-NM-7687</identifier>
    <datestamp>2017-09-21T18:48:05Z</datestamp>
  </header>
  <!-- more results... -->
  <resumptionToken completeListSize="540886">MXxvYWlfZGN8MjAxOC0wMy0xNFQxMzo</resumptionToken>
</ListIdentifiers>