Harvard Library

IIIF Support at the Harvard Library

Under the Covers

There are three core components of the Library’s support for IIIF:

First, the Digital Repository Service (DRS) Image Delivery Service now implements the IIIF Image API. This allows any IIIF viewer to display an image or image region for any open access image stored in the DRS.

Second, a new Harvard Library IIIF Presentation API service provides IIIF access to over 100,000 page turned objects that are currently stored in the DRS, including digitized books, manuscripts, diaries, and other digitized archival and library material.

And third, the Library has enabled the page viewer for DRS page turned objects to use a customized version of the Mirador viewer. See this link, for example, to see the new page viewer display a medieval Book of Hours from Houghton Library. The Mirador image viewer makes use of deep zoom technology via OpenSeadragon, an open-source web-based viewer for high resolution zoomable images.

The Harvard Library has adopted IIIF as the primary means for sharing its digital image content with the world.  IIIF enables the rich digital resources from Harvard’s libraries and archives to be displayed within any IIIF compatible web site at libraries, museums, and archives for research, teaching, and learning. Library Technology Services, which is formally a part of Harvard University Information Technology, adapted Mirador to serve as the default page viewer for the Harvard Library’s digital holdings.

In addition, by offering a IIIF compatible image viewer with side by side viewing ability, the Library enables scholars to view and compare documents from Harvard’s collection along side documents stored at remote IIIF repositories. The large and growing size of the IIIF community – including peer institutions such as Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, and others – opens opportunities for collaborative and cross site research that has not been possible before.