Thumbnail Delivery Service

As part of managing bibliographic resources, Alma enables libraries to store a thumbnail to visually represent an object and provide both staff and end-users with a better user experience. To access the thumbnail image, use Alma’s thumbnail delivery service for any bibliographic object stored in Alma. It is supported for bibliographic records (MMS_ID), collections, digital representations and files, physical holdings and items, and electronic portfolios. Libraries implementing a custom discovery layer using Alma APIs and the General Publishing Platform can use the service to display objects with thumbnails.

Objects with explicit thumbnails, such as a digital title, representation or file, will return the thumbnail directly associated with the requested object. Other thumbnail requests will resolve according to the following logic:

MMS_ID: If the records contains digital inventory, the service will attempt to retrieve a thumbnail associated with its representation. If inventory contains more than one digital representation and one is usage type derivative, the logic is applied to the derivative.
Collection: Service returns the collection’s thumbnail(s).
Representation: If digital (non-remote), returns thumbnail of the earliest file that has a thumbnail. If the representation is remote and contains a thumbnail URL, service redirects to thumbnail URL. If the representation is remote but does not contain thumbnail URL, the service returns a default thumbnail for the parent MMS_ID.
Holding, Item, Portfolio: Resolves to parent MMS_ID and applies above logic.

Default thumbnails are returned according to the bibliographic record material type (or, for a collection, a default collection thumbnail).

The service can be called at  https://{ALMA_DOMAIN}/view/delivery/thumbnail/{INST_CODE}/{OBJECT_ID}. For a collection with multiple thumbnails, append an index to get a specific thumbnail ({INST_CODE}/{COLLECTION_ID}/{INDEX}).

Note: Sandbox environments and older production environments with no Alma domain should send requests to their Alma instance and append the institution ID to /delivery/thumbnail, e.g.

No API key is required.