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Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Queries

  • How to view what is being served up in real time via OAI for your collection

If available, the OAI stream provided by your digital assets management system can be harvested by the Mountain West Digital Library and other harvesters like Scientific Commons and OAIster.

Querying your collection's OAI stream in a Web browser is a great way to check the mapping of your fields, and to see if any text is getting truncated or any non-Unicode characters are being included, leading to garbling of the results. Also, if the OAI provision is not working, you will get an error message in the results, which may give useful information.

Examples

Note: There are two sets of examples below. The first example is Qualified Dublin Core provision of metadata for the "nts" collection, called "Nevada Test Site Oral History Collection," on the University of Nevada Las Vegas main CONTENTdm server. Second are standard queries for Qualified Dublin Core provision of metadata for the "p265501coll1" collection, called "Mining History in Idaho," on the Idaho State Historical Society's hosted CONTENTdm server at OCLC. To view your repository's OAI provision, change the queries as follows:

  • Substitute your server's baseURL for the baseURL given at the beginning of each query.
  • Use "oai_dc" for simple Dublin Core or another provided format for metadata, usually either "qdc" or "oai_qdc" for Qualified Dublin Core metadata provision. Use "ListMetadataFormats" to see the available metadata formats on your server. All OAI servers must provide "oai_dc" and many provide additional formats as well. Other formats are optional.
  • Change "nts" or "p265501coll1" below to the alias ("setSpec") of your collection, where called for.

Example Set #1: University of Nevada Las Vegas University Libraries CONTENTdm server

Identify

Identifies the OAI provider:
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=Identify

List sets

Lists all the collections (sets) on your server:
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListSets

List metadata formats

Lists all the metadata formats on your server. The format "oai_dc" is required of all OAI providers. This server provides both "oai_dc" and "qdc".
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListMetadataFormats

List identifiers

Gives the header information only for all records (first group of records, in this case the first 1000):
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListIdentifiers&metadataPrefix=qdc

List records

List the records from one collection (change the set name at the end to get another set):
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=qdc&set=nts

Lists the records from all collections (first group of records, typically set to 1000):
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=qdc

For the next group of records, insert the "resumptionToken" value from the end of the results (change the number at the end to get the third, fourth, etc.):
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=ListRecords&resumptionToken=:::qdc:1000

Get record

Get a particular record (e.g., item #1086 in the nts collection):
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/cgi-bin/oai.exe?verb=GetRecord&identifier=oai:digital.library.unlv.edu:nts/1086&metadataPrefix=qdc

Example Set #2: Idaho State Historical Society Hosted CONTENTdm server

Identify

Identifies the OAI provider:
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=Identify

List sets

Lists all the collections (sets) on your server:
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListSets

List metadata formats

Lists all the metadata formats on your server. The format "oai_dc" is required of all OAI providers. This once also includes "oai_qdc" for Qualified Dublin Core.
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListMetadataFormats

List identifiers

Gives the header information only for all records (starts with first group of headers, in this case 200):
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListIdentifiers&metadataPrefix=oai_qdc

For the next group of headers, use the "resumptionToken" value at the end of the results:
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListIdentifiers&resumptionToken=p265501coll1:259:oclc-cdm-allsets:0000-00-00:9999-99-99:oai_qdc

List records

List the records from one collection, in this case "p265501coll1", the Mining History in Idaho collection (change the set name at the end to get another set):
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=oai_qdc&set=p265501coll1

Lists the records from all collections (first group of records, in this case the first 1000):
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=oai_qdc

For the next group of records, insert the "resumptionToken" value from the end of the results:
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=ListRecords&resumptionToken=p265501coll1:259:oclc-cdm-allsets:0000-00-00:9999-99-99:oai_qdc

Get record

Get a particular record (e.g., item #167 in the Mining History in Idaho collection):
http://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/oai/oai.php?verb=GetRecord&identifier=oai:idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org:p265501coll1/167&metadataPrefix=oai_qdc

More Information

Need more information about OAI? See http://www.openarchives.org, particularly http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/openarchivesprotocol.htm#ProtocolMessages for information about queries.