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Weekly News Digest

April 8, 2013 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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New York Public Library Announces Digital Collections API

The New York Public Library (NYPL) announced the release of its Digital Collections API (application programming interface). This tool allows software developers both in and outside of the library to write programs that search its digital collections, process the descriptions of each object, and find links to the relevant pages on the NYPL Digital Gallery.

For more than a century, the NYPL has amassed an extraordinary trove of rare and unique material covering the full spectrum of recorded knowledge. Now, for the first time, significant portions of the library’s digitized collections are available as machine-readable data: more than 1 million objects and records for anyone to search, crawl, and compute.

In a blog post, Doug Reside, digital curator for the performing arts, commented on the importance of APIs in our age of digital information and noted:

This API, built by developers in our IT Group, allows computers to search our digital library and get back information about the objects along with links to the relevant Digital Gallery page. Of course, as a human, you can already do that using the Digital Gallery itself, but you can only perform one search at a time. If you wanted to make a chart of say, the most commonly occurring words in the titles of the Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection, it would take a while. Now that the API makes this data available to computer programs, though, it wouldn’t take a great deal of coding to generate such a chart (I’ll leave that as a challenge to you hackers out there. ... post your solutions in comments).

Source: New York Public Library



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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