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The Search API provides the ability to search for resources in the NSDL digital library and build customized search and browse interfaces for a variety of applications. Search queries access metadata stored in the NSDL repository, including resource metadata, annotations, and use data/paradata. The Search API is based on an index of terms, compiled and accessed using the Lucene search engine. The API provides a resource-centric view of the repository, that is, for each resource (URL), Search operates over and can return all associated metadata, annotation, and use data/paradata records associated with the resource in a single search hit.

The Search API uses a RESTful approach to accept Lucene queries, and responds with structured results in XML or JSON format, allowing developers to embed and reuse NSDL resources using a wide range of technologies such as JavaScript, PHP and JSP.

The API is implemented with an instance of the the Digital Discovery System (DDS) repository search server.

What's Happening

The new Search API went into production at the beginning of April, 2011, replacing the previous NDR Search API. The web site, partner sites and learning applications began using the new API at that time.

See it in Action

The API base URLs is:

User Interfaces implemented with the API:

Get Involved

  • For suggestions, questions, and more information, please send your inquiry to NSDL via the contact form

Page List


Download Links

  • NSDL Search Page Template (download from SourceForge) - Customizable search client implemented with HTML and JavaScript. Use the template to embed and customize NSDL search on any Web site.


For historical reference, see the previous NSDL Search API documentation (API deprecated April, 2011).

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