Simple Collection

Use Case

Your organization has a named collection of paintings authored by a specific person. Each of these unique items already has a digital representation and a Manifest, and you would now like to organize and present them together in a unified and coherent IIIF Presentation interface.

Implementation notes

This recipe illustrates the mandatory structure and properties of a IIIF Collection of Manifests, with the simplest possible content. IIIF Collections have no restrictions on the organizational purpose of their referenced resources, though the resources may be related as a named digital collection, a common metadata value, or be organized as search results.

Like with a Manifest, the JSON-LD of a Collection opens with the@context declaration, which identifies the terms used in the document as belonging to the IIIF specification. The id property identifies this collection with the URL at which it is available online. The type property must be Collection.

As with a Manifest, the label property is mandatory, and the language of its value must be given (or the special value none), using a language map. Here the language of the label is English and its value is “Simple Collection Example”.

The Collection items property is an array of referenced Manifests. In this example there are two Manifests. Each items entry must have an id, type, and a label. The id must be the URI where the Manifest can be available online. The type must be Manifest or a Collection. Each items entry referenced should not be fully embedded into the Collection, and should contain only necessary properties for presentation of the collection such as thumbnail. Various other descriptive and linking properties such as summary, minimal metadata, and homepage may be useful as well for presentation. See the Summary of property requirements for a complete list.

Collections may also reference other Collections.

Collections may have behavior defined in order to influence user experience when viewing the resource. Manifests within a Collection DO NOT inherit behaviors from their referencing Collections; however referenced Collections will.

Defining a IIIF Collection is to not be conflated with creating a table of contents within an individual Manifest. To define a table of contents, see Multiple Volumes in a Single Bound Volume.


None known.


This example IIIF Collection represents an organization’s collection of paintings by the American painter Winslow Homer, which includes two distinct artworks: The Gulf Stream and Northeaster. Each painting is represented within the Collection as a IIIF Manifest, identified by a URI as its id, a type property, and the corresponding title as the label.

Note: Each supporting viewer has a distinct method for toggling between Collection items:

  • Universal Viewer presents items in an Index tab;
  • Mirador presents items in a dialog component;
  • Annona presents items in a toggleable information panel;
  • Clover presents items as options in a dropdown element.

Example Collection

JSON-LD | View in Universal Viewer | View in Mirador | View in Annona | View in Clover

Example Manifest for The Gulf Stream

JSON-LD | View in Universal Viewer | View in Mirador | View in Annona | View in Clover

Example Manifest for Northeaster

JSON-LD | View in Universal Viewer | View in Mirador | View in Annona | View in Clover

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