International Image Interoperability Framework

Access to image-based resources is fundamental to research, scholarship and the transmission of cultural knowledge. Until now, much of the Internet’s image-based resources have been locked up in silos, with access restricted to custom-built applications. The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) supports uniform display of images of books, maps, scrolls, manuscripts, musical scores and archival material from participating institutions for display, manipulation, measurement and annotation by scholars and students working individually or in groups around the world.

IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) has the following goals:

  • To give scholars an unprecedented level of uniform and rich access to image-based resources hosted around the world.
  • To define a set of common application programming interfaces that support interoperability between image repositories.
  • To develop, cultivate and document shared technologies, such as image servers and web clients, that provide a world-class user experience in viewing, comparing, manipulating and annotating images.

The IIIF initiative was conceived on the back of a napkin at a Cuban restaurant in Palo Alto, California at a dinner of technologists from the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University, the British Library and Stanford University Libraries. In June of 2015, eleven institutions committed resources and officially formed the International Image Interoperability Framework Consortium (IIIF-C), which will oversee the ongoing development of the IIIF technology as well as the growth of the community.  Joining Oxford, the British Library and Stanford as part of the IIIF-C are ARTstor, Die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (The Bavarian State Library), Cornell University, La Bibliothèque nationale de France (The National Library of France), Nasjonalbiblioteket (The National Library of Norway), Princeton University Library, Wellcome Trust and Yale University (Yale Center for British Art, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library).