Thank you for reaching out!
You're right that with the Search API, searching for the name of a work won't return a single object that corresponds to that query. Europeana is an aggregator for cultural heritage from thousands of cultural heritage institutions. This means that if you search for, e.g. 'Mona Lisa', you'll get all of the results that relate to that term from every cultural heritage institution we've aggregated content for.
That becomes quickly apparent if you search for 'Mona Lisa' on our main portal, europeana.eu
. The results you get are basically the same response you'd get from a Search API query (example Search API query
). You'll get objects depicting boats called the Mona Lisa, pictures of people taking photographs of the Mona Lisa, remixes of the painting etc. Our data is very heterogeneous, originating from different cultural heritage institutions with different curators creating metadata in different languages and with different metadating systems. For the 'Mona Lisa' example, you actually get better results when you search for the alternative name of the work, 'La Joconde'. The two most relevant objects are this one
and this one
for the example you provided. Using europeana.eu
first when creating your queries can help a lot to visualise what the response of the Search API can be.
That said, if you want a single referral to a concept as a response to a query as input, then the Entity API seems to be the best way forward for you. As you correctly stated, the suggest method tries to disambiguate what you're trying to search for and suggests entities that might match your search. This is currently available for agents (=people), concepts, and places. I'll leave it to @Hugo to give some more input on this if he'd like to.
I hope this helped!