REST Service/Web API

Publicly available database objects (including their occurrences in the text of the “Teutsche Academie”), their relations towards each other and references to external authority files can be retrieved via a REST API.

Usage and URL schemes

Generally, the URLs are constructed like this:
The value person used here as an example is the object domain, while 1 is the object ID. For the object domain, you can provide one of the four following strings:

  • artwork
  • person
  • place
  • bibliograpy

For example, to get the data for artworks with IDs 2026 and 329, you would have to request these URLs:

Similarly, you could retrieve information on Hans von Aachen (person ID 2162) and Leon Battista Alberti (person ID 114) by fetching data from the following URLs:

Using 3rd-party identifiers

To get a hold of the internal IDs used by, you can send identifiers from a number of authority files or databases. In case we know this identifier, the server will respond with the ID(s) of corresponding object(s). The URL scheme for this type of request is:

The list of currently available providers is as follows:

Provider Name/description
Arachne Arachne
BritishMuseum British Museum
Census Census
GeoNames GeoNames
GKD Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei (GKD)
GoogleBooks Google Books
KHM Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
NationalGallery National Gallery London
PND Personennamendatei (PND)
Rijksmuseum Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
SWD Schlagwortnormdatei (SWD)
TGN Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)
ULAN Getty Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)
VD16 VD16
VD17 VD17
VIAF Virtual Internet Authority File (VIAF)
VKK Virtuelles Kupferstichkabinett

Depending on the provider, we need a different kind of identifier: for instance, in case of the VIAF, it is of course the numeric VIAF ID. For the “Arachne” database however, you would have to use the PURL.

Example 1: Getting a person by its PND ID. If ouy already have the PND ID of the person you are interested in (e.g. 118643525), you could send a request to obtain the person’s ID in, and from there use the ID for retrieving more data.

Beispiel 2: Getting a work of art by its PURL in the “Virtuelles Kupferstichkabinett”. To find out, if knows about a work of art that can be found at the PURL, you would use this URL:
In this example, you will get the result that this artwork is identical to the artwork having ID 273 in Now, you could use the ID (as described above) to get the work’s data or find out where it is mentioned in the “Teutsche Academie”.

HTTP reponse codes used:

  • 200: Resource exists, data is being returned
  • 400: Erroneous or incomplete request data
  • 404: Domain or resource does not exist


By default, data is returned as XML (MIME type text/xml), but if you prefer, you can also get JSON. For this purpose, simply append ?json=1 to the URL. No content type negotiation based on the HTTP “Accept” header is performed. When JSON is returned, the MIME type of the response will be application/json.


As work on this edition has been finished, you can cache any data you received even for months.

Server-side caching strategies (ETag, If-Modified-Since) are not supported.


The information offered by the API described on this page are published under a Creative Commons “BY-NC-SA” lizence. Further informationen can be found at