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International Image Interoperability Framework


The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) at Harvard University website is a centralized resource for documentation, development, and use case scenarios… 


Two APIs: One for image retrieval, one for image display.

The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) defines universal standards for describing and delivering images over the web.

These standards are the result of collaborative efforts across universities, museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions around the world.

Japanese photographs of the Meiji period, vol. 1. Noge Hill at Yokohama (spring)
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IIIF Presentation API

The role of the IIIF Presentation API is to describe a digital object that may contain hundreds of images in such a way that the user and the viewer software can successfully navigate the object.

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image api con


The IIIF Image API specifies a web service that returns an image in response to a standard HTTP or HTTPS request. The URI can specify the region, size, rotation, quality characteristics and format of the requested image. 

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Pelike depicting Helen and Paris



Mirador is a configurable, extensible, and easy-to-integrate image viewer, which enables image annotation and comparison of images from repositories dispersed around the world.


Collaborators and Use Cases

Map: Septentrionalium regionum descrip by Ortelius, Abraham, 1527-1598

Harvard Library

Since 2012, Harvard Library has adopted IIIF as the standard for sharing its digital image content with the world.

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3-D rendered illustration of eukaryotic cell.


First used Mirador as a stand alone application in a series of courses. 

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Coin of Septimius Severus Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus

Arts & Humanities Research Computing

Arts and Humanities Research Computing supports faculty and student research in the divisions of the arts and humanities and the humanistic social sciences. 

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Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin

Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums make their collections interoperable through several IIIF compatible services and tools.  

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Ten Thousand Bamboo in Mist and Rain

Academic Technology for FAS

Mirador is used as an embedded component of the HarvardX Annotation tool for HarvardX courses, as well as in Harvard College residential courses as a component of Canvas course sites.

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Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections

Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections is the first exhibition to showcase highlights of illuminated manuscripts in the Boston area. 

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