IIIF: Enhancing Digital Scholarship
The lack of interoperability between digital repositories is one of the biggest problems that scholars face today. Despite the many efforts and interest of cultural and academic institutions to digitise and promote their digital content online, researchers are still encountering problems of retrieving, accessing and working collaboratively on the vast amount of materials available on the Web. The International Image Interoperability framework (IIIF), a project involving the BL and other partner institutions, aims to fill this gap in Digital Humanities by providing a single platform for accessing digital images. Based on the “Shared Canvas” model developed by Stanford University (http://www.shared-canvas.org/), IIIF users will not only be able to retrieve images located in different servers or stored in various repositories, but, more importantly, will be invited to compare, annotate and edit these images, promoting new discoveries and offering multiple interpretations to digitised objects. IIIF has recently launched an online web suite that allows users to run a series of tests using IIIF-compliant images and this can be accessed at http://iiif-test.stanford.edu. The platform is planned to go live later this year and will certainly support scholars and institutions to work in closer collaboration.