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Digital NZ

DigitalNZ aggregates collections from across New Zealand and makes the aggregated metadata available through an API.

You'll need an API key to work with DigitalNZ data.


Tips, tools, and examples

Build a DigitalNZ API search query

This notebook creates a form that you can use to experiment with the DigitalNZ search API.

Getting some top-level data from the DigitalNZ API

This notebook pokes around at the top-level of DigitalNZ, mainly using facets to generate some collection overviews and summaries.

Harvest facet data from DigitalNZ

This notebook explores what facets are available from the DigitalNZ API and demonstrates how to harvest data from them. It generates a summary of all available facets, as well as saving the full set of values from each facet as a CSV file.

Select a random(ish) record from DigitalNZ

The DigitalNZ API doesn't provide a random sort option. You can jump to a randomly selected page of results, but you can't do any deeper than 100,000 pages into a results set (that's 1,000,000 records if you set the per_page value to 100). So we need to find some way of filtering the results until there's less than 1,000,000, then we can grab a random page and record. This notebook examines the available facets, then uses them to reduce the size of the results set until it's possible to select a random record. It provides a series of examples of retrieving random records using different filters and facets.

Screenshot showing results of selecting a rnadom item using a specific content partner

Find results by country in DigitalNZ

Many items in DigtalNZ include location information. This can include a country, but as far as I can see there's no direct way to search for results relating to a particular country using the API. You can, however, search for geocoded locations using bounding boxes. This notebook shows how you can use this to search for countries.

Map showing frequency of DigitalNZ locations

Visualising open collections in DigitalNZ

DigitalNZ's usage facet tells you what you can do with a record. A usage value of 'Use commercially' indicates that the record is 'open', according to the open licence definitions. So by harvesting data from the usage facet, we can explore how much of DigitalNZ is open. This notebook assembles data relating to the usage status of each primary_collection associated with a content_partner. It then attempts to visualise the data in a suitably colourful burst of fireworks!

Visualisation of collections with open content in DigitalNZ

Visualise a search in Papers Past

Start with some keywords you want to search for in Papers Past, then create a simple visualisation showing the distribution over time and by newspaper.

Chart visualising Papers Past results

Harvest data from Papers Past

This notebooks lets you harvest large amounts of data for Papers Past (via DigitalNZ) for further analysis. It saves the results as a CSV file that you can open in any spreadsheet program. It currently includes the OCRd text of all the newspaper articles.


Data harvested from facets

Harvested: 22 January 2021

The repository includes CSV formatted versions of the data harvested from the 'Harvest facet data' notebook above. Of course, if you want to do something with this data, you might want to run a fresh harvest to make sure it's up-to-date. But they're saved here to get an overview of the available facets, and understand the range of values in each.

Summary of facets:

Individual facets:

Combining content_partner and primary_collection facets:

Combining content_partner, primary_collection, and usage facets (this data was assembled by the 'Visualising open collections' notebook):

Cite as

Sherratt, Tim. (2019, November 17). GLAM-Workbench/digitalnz (Version v0.1.0). Zenodo.