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 digital files or remote representations, will return the thumbnail directly associated with the requested object. For other requested objects the request 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 apikey is required.