The Canadiana API

Did you know that you can turn any search results or record view page in the Canadiana Discovery Portal into a machine-parseable XML document or JSON object simply by adding the query parameter fmt=xml or fmt=json? For example:

 

http://beta.canadiana.ca/search?q=halifax+explosion

 

can be retrieved as an XML document:

 

http://beta.canadiana.ca/search?q=halifax+explosion&fmt=xml

 

The Canadiana API is still in very early draft and is still subject to change and revision. Once it gets a little better-defined, we will publish a supported specification. In the meantime, pretty much any query can be turned into a request for an XML or JSON response. The response data itself is reasonably self-explanitory. It contains record and facet data from the underlying Solr database query, as well as other information, including a number of conventiently pre-calculated values to help manage results paging.