Home API Sydney Photograph Collection (Pre 1885) API

Sydney Photograph Collection (Pre 1885) API


One of the databases the State Library of NSW makes available is a small collection of photographs taken in Sydney prior to 1885. We’ve integrated it into our social media and marking platform so the images might be sent to social by our clients. Powered by one our numerous APIs, the data can also be used with a simple WordPress plugin that renders the entire collection into your website as paginated results. It’s one of the smallest datasets we make make available (our platform provides access to about 12 billion items of media).

The Result

API endpoint: http://api.beliefmedia.com/australia/sydney/sydney.json.

The API returns paginated results based on the parameters used. The API will accept apikey, pg, number, and type (browse or search).

A basic response will return JSON data that unfolds as follows:

Searching the small archive by the limited caption text requires the parameter of type=search&search=search_term. Individual results are returned by passing only the itemid.

Sample PHP Function

A simple function that might be used to retrieve the data is as follows:

To play withe the data, use echo 'pre' . print_r(beliefmedia_slnsw_sydney_photos(), true) . '/pre'; (closing the pre tags) to print the resulting array to your screen.


  • If you’re a current of former client and would like the WordPress plugin installed that will create a browsable archive of the images, please make contact with us.
  • While the API references images hosted on the SLNSW server, we have an archive of them all available for download (341MB). The file names are altered to itemid-thumb.jpg (thumbnail) and itemid-full.jpg (full size).
  • This data source is one of many that is available from within the client area for scheduling to social.

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