Home API State Library of Western Australia Photograph Collection API

State Library of Western Australia Photograph Collection API


The State Library of Western Australia made a collection of around 32,000 copyright-expired images and drawings created between 1818 and 1950 available on the Data.gov website. We’ve taken the collection and, as part of an ongoing project that’ll eventuate in a single data source, we’ve created an API to search and browse the data. This article provides a very brief outline of the functionality that the Western Australia image API provides.

The Result

The endpoint for all requests: https://api.beliefmedia.com/australia/wa/wa.json. To return specific image details (the image itemid is returned in search and browsing results), use wa.json?id=slwa_qj20. The returned JSON data decode as follows:

searching and browsing

To search the database, use wa.json?apikey=xxx&pg=1&number=10&search=australia. The resulting JSON data will unfold as follows:

To browse, include an optional page and number parameters (defaulting to browse and 30 results). The returned data is not entirely dissimilar to the search data above.

Download Images

The entire (2.6GB) collection of images is available for download. All follow the format of {year}/{itemid}.{jpg|png} (as provided in the JSON data). We’ve made attempts to determine the highest quality image without success; we’ll revisit this in the future.

Sample PHP Functions

The following sample functions are might be used. They show the minimum necessary code to retrieve results.

Show Image Details

Searching and Browsing


  • Other search functions are available (year, exact, partial, etc) but we’ll refrain from details until the data is consolidated into a single source.
  • A WordPress plugin is available that will show paginated image results in your WordPress website.

Shortt URL for this post: http://shor.tt/18nM


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here