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Trove API v3


This is a temporary section of the the GLAM Workbench created to bring together information and examples relating to version 3 of the Trove API. It will probably disappear once the new version is officially released and I reorganise the Trove sections of the GLAM Workbench accordingly.

Release 3 of the Trove API Version 3 beta is now available for testing. See the introductory notes for more details.


  • March 2023: Trove API v3 beta (release 1)
  • May 2023: Trove API v3 beta (release 2)
  • June 2023: Trove API v3 beta (release 3)
  • Mid 2023: Trove API v3 officially released
  • Early 2024: Trove API v2 decommissioned

Trove API Console

The Trove API Console has been updated to add examples from v3 of the API. It provides many sample queries that you can run and modify without the need for an API key.

Migration tips

All the breaking changes I know about are listed below, but here's a short summary of things you should look out for when migrating your code from version 2 to version 3 of the Trove API.

Update API version

This is an obvious one – change the /v2/ in your API urls to /v3/!

Moving from zones to categories

You can't just change all the the zone parameters to category as there's no one to one correspondence between the old zones and new categories. In some cases you can add the l-artType facet to try to match the old behaviour.

Zone Category
newspaper newspaper – add l-articleType=newspapers (note the plural) to keep gazettes out
gazette newspaper – add l-articleType=gazette
book book – mostly the same but seems to have gained some formats and lost theses
article this zone has been split – NLA digitised articles are in the magazine category, other articles are in research and book, periodical records are in book
picture image – this category now includes the contents of the former map zone, use l-artType=Pictures and photos to filter the maps out
music music
map picture – add l-artType=Maps
collection diary
list list
people people

Be aware of changes to record structure

This one is easy to overlook and likely to have you scratching your head at unexpected errors. The actual structure of most JSON and XML records has changed. In most cases the top level container has been removed, so any code that drills down through the record hierarchy to find a value will break. See below for the specific changes for each endpoint.

There's also some changes in the way lists of resources are provided. For example, facets are now always returned as an array of objects no matter how many you request. Previously if you requested a single facet, you got a single object.

If something's not working after you migrate – check these things first! They've already tripped me up a couple of times.

Other odd and annoying changes

Some changes just seem to be designed to break your code. In v2 the text version of a newspaper title was found in record["title"]["value"], but in v3 this has changed to record["title"]["title"]. The word and illtype facets have changed to wordCount and illustrationType. Why?

See below for various odd changes to List records.

Some url values have changed

The value of trovePageUrl has changed. Previously it was of the form[PAGE ID], but in v3 it is[PAGE ID]. If, like me, you've been using regular expressions to extract the numeric identifier you'll have to update your code.

Don't lose your keys!

API keys now expire after 12 months, even if they're in use! You'll get an email asking if you want to renew your key – don't ignore this email or your application will stop working!

Summary of breaking changes


This is a work in progress as I work my way through the API changes. Additions are very welcome.

This summary only includes breaking changes – the things you'll need to change in your code before v2 of the API is switched off in early 2024. For a full list of changes see the introduction to the v3 API, and the v3 technical guide.

The release notes don't mention the changes to the JSON responses. In general, the changes flatten the JSON responses by removing top-level wrappers that served no function. This means the way you access data within responses has changed. For example, assuming that you've saved the JSON response as a variable called data, to access the title of a newspaper article retrieved via the /newspaper/[article id] endpoint in version 2 you would use:


While in version 3 you'd use:


There are similar changes across all endpoints.

All endpoints

  • API keys will now automatically expire 12 months after activation! (There will be an option to renew.)
  • change v2 to v3 in the endpoint url!
  • callback parameter for JSONP removed, use CORS instead
  • default encoding now JSON not XML (I've been told this is a bug and release 3 will make XML the default again) Default encoding is once again XML (same as API v2).

/result endpoint

  • zone parameter has been replaced with category, possible values are: all, newspaper, magazine, image, research, book, diary, music, people, list; note that in most cases there is no one-to-one correspondence between zones and categories as the boundaries of what's included have changed, for example, the 'newspaper' category includes the contents of both the 'newspaper' and 'gazette' zones
  • the handling of 'blank' searches has changed – in version 2 you could use a " " space as a value for q allowing you to search for everything, this doesn't work in v3beta, however, using the unicode null value, %00, does seem to work release 2 of the v3 beta made the q (query) parameter optional. This means blank searches are supported without any need for workarounds.
  • the behaviour of the include parameter has changed – previously you could supply multiple values to include as a comma-separated string, now to specify mutiple values you have to include include multiple times (eg. instead of &include=tags,comments you need &include=tags&include=comments).
  • some facet names have changed: word is now wordCount, and illtype is now illustrationType
  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level response key removed
    • zone key changed to category
    • the meaning of the name parameter inside each category value has change – the old name value can be accessed via the code key, while name now returns the category's display name.
    • If you requested a single facet in version 2, it was returned as a JSON object. In version 3, facets are always returned as an array of objects no matter how many you request. So if you include the facet=format parameter in your request, the facet terms within each category will be in category["facets"]["facet"][0] rather than category["facets"]["facet"]. Compare the v2 result with the v3 result.

Newspapers and gazette records (both /result and /newspaper/[article id])

  • urls of newspaper and gazette articles and pages returned by the API have changed to use NLA identifiers. In most cases this shouldn't break anything as they still go to the same place. However, if you've been extracting the numeric page identifier from the trovePageUrl then you might need to adjust your code. Previously the trovePageUrl value was of the form[PAGE ID], but in v3 it is[PAGE ID].
  • the structure of the title element has changed – in v2 the text version of a newspaper title was found in record["title"]["value"], but in v3 this has changed to record["title"]["title"]

List records (both /result and /list/[list id])

  • in v2 the dates a list was created and updated were available at record["created"] and record["lastupdated"], but in v3 both dates are under record["date"] so record["date"]["created"] and record["date"]["lastupdated"].
  • the values of tagCount and commentCount have moved – in v2 they were available at record["tagCount"] and record["commentCount"], but in v3 they have moved down a level to record["tagCount"]["value"] and record["commentCount"]["value"]

/work/[work id] endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level work key removed

/newspaper/[article id] endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level article key removed

/newspaper/titles endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level response and records keys removed

/newspaper/titles/[title id] endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level newspaper key removed

/list/[list id] endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level list key removed – note too that in v2 list returned an array (even though there was only one value), in v3 there is just a single value, not an array; so instead of using data["list"][0]["title"] to get the title of a list, you'll need to use data["title"].

contributor endpoint

There are major changes here that aren't mentioned in the release notes. Previously a call to this endpoint without additional parameters just returned a long list of contributors. Now, you need to supply a q parameter to filter the results.

  • q parameter added and required – to do a blank search and get all contributors (ie the v2 behaviour), include the q parameter with no value, eg: contributor?q=&encoding=json&reclevel=full Release 2 of the v3 API beta made the q parameter optional.
  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level response key removed

contributor/[NUC] endpoint

  • JSON response format changes:
    • top-level contributor key removed

magazine/titles/ endpoint

This endpoint was introduced in release 2 of the Trove API v3 beta, however, it's currently returning no results. I've been told this will be fixed in release 3. Fixed in release 3.