Academic Technology for the FAS

While IIIF has achieved broad adoption in research and collections, it remains largely underutilized in teaching and learning. Academic Technology for the FAS has taken a leading role in integrating this standard into pedagogical tools and practices. Core supported applications that take advantage of IIIF include the Image Media Manager, which supports image curation and display; Omeka as a Service, which supports online exhibits of rich visual collections; and AnnotationsX, which provides a platform for collaborative annotation of text, images, and video.

IIIF’s inherent interoperability has allowed for a significant streamlining of workflows, particularly around the use and reuse of visual material. For example, high resolution images made available by the Harvard Art Museums and the Harvard Library can now be utilized in an Omeka site for use in an exhibit, in the AnnotationsX tool for collaborative annotation in Canvas, or in the Image Media Manager for integration with other course materials.

Both Omeka and the Image Media Manager are IIIF-compatible image repositories in their own right, and can share images with each other or with other IIIF-compatible tools. For example, image collections created in a Canvas course using Image Media Manager may be shared with the AnnotationsX tool for annotation, as well as with a public Omeka site associated with the course. Similarly, images curated on an Omeka site can be utilized in Image Media Manager or AnnotationsX in service of a course’s learning goals.

Also, the use of a single standard image viewer – Mirador – provides users with a more consistent experience across tools.

While discovery can still pose a challenge, the ability to share image resources and metadata across tools has already improved significantly with the adoption and implementation of IIIF.

Image Media Manager

The Image Media Manager application is a locally-developed toolset that enables instructors to curate and present collections of images and associated metadata within Canvas and other LTI-compliant learning management systems. Images can be added to IMM collections by uploading files or by utilizing an existing IIIF Manifest URL.

The Image Media Manager exposes image data via IIIF APIs and utilizes Mirador as the default image viewer, providing a robust foundation for media management and display. Collections can be built either by uploading local images or by adding images via a IIIF Manifest URL. The Image Media Manager application is currently available to Harvard FAS users via the EduAppCenter, maintained by Instructure.

Image Media Manager logo, with 'access - curate - display' below
A GID of Image Media Manager in use in a Canvas course


Academic Technology for FAS’s Omeka service offering is used in courses and research projects, where it serves as an engine for online exhibits, object biographies, student essays, and geospatial assignments. FAS affiliates can request an Omeka instance using this form.

The IIIF Toolkit plugin, which is part of AT-FAS’s standard Omeka build, integrates the Mirador viewer with a built-in annotator, manifest generator, Simple Pages shortcodes, and Exhibit Builder blocks for a rich, interactive presentation experience.

Several courses and research projects are making use of Omeka and the IIIF Toolkit plugin, including “China Local,” a cultural heritage collection that includes over 9,000 images, videos, and panoramas gathered by Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard.

Omeka provides the environment for storing, organizing, and displaying these assets. China Local takes advantage of IIIF Toolkit plugin to dynamically render large visual objects, like the Eighteen Songs scroll (seen below), which is over 65,000 pixels long. The tiling and zooming available with Mirador affords the viewer greater ease of navigation, while the annotation capability included in the IIIF Toolkit provides instructors and students with the ability to identify people and objects in the scroll, provide transliterations and translations, and more.

The Omeka shell logo overlaid with 'Omeka as a Service' by Academic Technology for the FAS
A screenshot of the Omeka IIIF Toolkit in use with Mirador 2 and IIIF annotations on the Eighteen Songs scroll

AnnotationsX (HxAT)

AnnotationsX is an LTI-compliant application that supports the collaborative annotation of texts, images, and video.

The Image Annotation component of AnnotationsX leverages IIIF and the Mirador viewer to enable the close examination of visual material, and to support teacher-student and student-student discussions. Instructors and students can view and annotate images within a course website, see each other’s annotations, and add comments to existing annotations submitted by the instructor or fellow students. Annotations can also be tagged for easy sorting and organization.

AnnotationsX is currently available to Harvard FAS users via the EduAppCenter, maintained by Instructure.

The AnnotationsX logo, which highlight multimedia annotations
A screenshot of AnnotationsX in use, annotating an image 'Assembled Paintings of Commodore Perry's Visit'


Academic Technology for FAS presented a poster on “IIIF for Image Media Management…and Beyond!” at the 2018 Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) annual meeting:

A poster titled IIIF Media Management for the Classroom ... and Beyond!

If you are interested in using any of the above tools for your course, please visit or email