TypeScript icon, indicating that this package has built-in type declarations

0.0.1-alpha.541 • Public • Published

Internet Archive Search Service

A service for searching and retrieving metadata from the Internet Archive.


yarn add @internetarchive/ia-search-service


1. Implement a SearchBackend

In order to abstract the network connectivity layer and the environment-specific configuration from the result handling, the consumer should implement a search backend that implements the SearchBackendInterface. These are just two methods, one for fetching search results and the other for fetching metadata. They both return a Promise that should contain JSON that matches a SearchResponse object or a MetadataResponse object.


// search-backend.ts
import { SearchBackendInterface, SearchResponse, MetadataResponse } from '@internetarchive/ia-search-service';

export class SearchBackend implements SearchBackendInterface {
  constructor(baseUrl = 'archive.org') {
    this.baseUrl = baseUrl;

  async performSearch(params): Promise<SearchResponse> {
    const urlSearchParam = params.asUrlSearchParams;
    const queryAsString = urlSearchParam.toString();
    const url = `https://${this.baseUrl}/advancedsearch.php?${queryAsString}`;
    const response = await fetch(url);
    const json = await response.json();
    return new Promise(resolve => resolve(json));

  async fetchMetadata(identifier): Promise<MetadataResponse> {
    const url = `https://${this.baseUrl}/metadata/${identifier}`;
    const response = await fetch(url);
    const json = await response.json();
    return new Promise(resolve => resolve(json));

2. Make Search Requests

Using the backend you created above, instantiate a SearchService with it, craft some SearchParams, and perform your search:


// search-consumer.ts
import { SearchService, SearchParams, SearchResponse } from '@internetarchive/ia-search-service';
import { SearchBackend } from './search-backend';


const searchBackend = new SearchBackend();
const searchService = new SearchService(searchBackend);

const params = new SearchParams('collection:books AND title:(little bunny foo foo)');
params.sort = 'downloads desc';
params.rows = 33;
params.start = 0;
params.fields = ['identifier', 'collection', 'creator', 'downloads'];

const searchResponse: SearchResponse = await searchService.performSearch(params);
searchResponse.response.numFound // => number
searchResponse.response.docs // => Metadata[] array
searchResponse.response.docs[0].identifier // => 'identifier-foo'

const metadataResponse: MetadataResponse = await searchService.fetchMetadata('some-identifier');
metadataResponse.metadata.identifier // => 'some-identifier'
metadataResponse.metadata.collection.value // => 'some-collection'
metadataResponse.metadata.collection.values // => ['some-collection', 'another-collection', 'more-collections']

Metadata Values

Internet Archive Metadata is expansive and nearly all metadata fields can be returned as either an array, string, or number.

The Search Service handles all of the possible variations in data formats and converts them to native types. For instance on fields that are dates like indexdate, date, and publicdate, it takes the string returned and converts it into a native javascript Date fields.

There are parsers for several different field types, like Number, String, Date, and Duration.

See src/models/metadata-fields/field-types.ts


metadata.collection.values  // returns all values of the array, even if there's just one, ie. 'my-collection'
metadata.collection.value   // return just the first item of the `values` array, ie. ['my-collection', 'other-collection']
metadata.collection.rawValue // return the rawValue. This is useful if it was not parsed properly for some reason, ie. "['my-collection', 'other-collection']"

metadata.date.value  // return the date as a javascript `Date` object

metadata.length.value  // return the length (duration) of the item as a number of seconds, can be in the format "hh:mm:ss" or decimal seconds



yarn install


yarn test


yarn lint




npm i @internetarchive/ia-search-service

DownloadsWeekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

79.3 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • jim-at-ia
  • tracey.pooh
  • latonv
  • markcarranza
  • ibnesayeed
  • bfalling
  • mitraardron
  • rchrd2
  • vbanos
  • kngenie
  • hyzhak
  • iisa
  • jbuckner
  • shaneriley
  • cdrini
  • nsharma123
  • mattm-archive
  • dualcnhq