Unofficial newspaper API for experimentation
Using my Trove Tools script I've created an experimental API to the Trove newspapers database. While we wait for an official API, you might like to have a play with it and think about what sorts of new applications and resources we'll be able to develop once Trove is properly opened up.
The examples all return results in JSON, so you might want to install a JSON viewer plugin for your browser (such as JSONView for Firefox or Chrome).
It's based on a screen scraper, so it's not terribly efficient or reliable, but I've tweaked the caching to try and quicken things up.
Obviously it's not for building production applications, it's for experimentation, mashups and play. What can you build? I used an earlier version for my Newspaper Roulette game, and I've just used the new API in my dynamic Trove graphs.
So play, enjoy and think about the possibilities.
The idea of giving us access to the rich resources of this collection though an api which would then allow us to do more complex searches is very important. It would allow us to build searches which we could run regularly and easily according to our research interests. It would also allow us to get search results which we could then analyze or use to further enhance the value of the collection.
An example of the API in action
Richard Lehane at State Records NSW has put together a nice timeline mashup using agency data from their system, Wikipedia and my Trove newspapers API.
See it in action, and read about how it was created.
Another example of the API in action
One of the entries in the recent LibraryHack competition used my unnofficial API to help create a new interface to Australian newspapers:
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