API Specifications - International Image Interoperability Framework™

Current specifications

API Current Version Description
Image API 3.0.0 The IIIF Image API specifies a web service that returns an image in response to a standard HTTP(S) request. The URI can specify the region, size, rotation, quality characteristics and format of the requested image.
Presentation API 3.0.0 The IIIF Presentation API provides the information necessary to allow a rich, online viewing environment for compound digital objects to be presented to a human user, often in conjunction with the IIIF Image API.
Authorization Flow API 2.0.0 The IIIF Authorization Flow specification describes a set of workflows for guiding the user through an existing access control system.
Change Discovery API 1.0.0 The IIIF Change Discovery API provides the information needed to discover and make use of IIIF resources.
Content Search API 2.0.0 The IIIF Content Search API specification lays out the interoperability mechanism for performing searches of text annotations associated with an object within the IIIF context.
Content State API 1.0.0 The IIIF Content State API provides a way to refer to a IIIF Presentation API resource, or a part of a resource, in a compact format that can be used to initialize the view of that resource in any client.

Feedback requested

We welcome feedback on all IIIF Specifications. Please send any feedback to iiif-discuss@googlegroups.com.

Approved extensions

Please see the Registry of Extensions for full details on how extensions work and the process for creating them.

Currently, there are three formally published extensions available for use with the Presentation API.

Presentation API Extensions Description
navPlace Extension This IIIF Presentation 3 API extension defines a new property, navPlace, which is defined by earthbound geographic coordinates in the form of GeoJSON-LD.
Text Granularity Extension This extension recommends a pattern for indicating the level of text granularity for an annotation related to optical character recognition (OCR) software, manual transcription, and existing digitized text.
Georeference Extension This extension leverages Web Annotations to provide a pattern for georeferencing IIIF Presentation 3 API Canvases as well as images served through the IIIF Image API.

Community translations

API Version Translation
Image API 3.0 Japanese, Chinese
Image API 2.1 Japanese
Presentation API 3.0 Chinese
Presentation API 2.1 Japanese
Content Search API 1.0 Japanese, Chinese
Authentication API 1.0 Japanese, Chinese
Discovery API 1.0 Chinese
Content State API 0.9 Chinese
NavPlace Extension   Chinese

Translation note
Please note that the IIIF community does not guarantee the accuracy of any translation. They are linked to for information purposes only, and any discrepancies with the specifications are unintentional. The English versions of the specifications linked above are the definitive versions.

Community cookbook

The Cookbook gathers together examples of how to create IIIF Presentation API assets, in order to:

  • Provide many more examples than the specification alone can do, for reference and learning;
  • Encourage publishers to adopt common patterns in modeling classes of complex objects;
  • Enable client software developers to support these patterns, for consistency of user experience (when desirable); and
  • Demonstrate the applicability of IIIF to a broad range of use cases.

The Cookbook webpages are under constant development and the list of recipes include links to completed recipes and place holders for future recipes. The community welcomes additions to the Cookbook. To get started, review the Cookbook process and say hello on the Cookbook Slack channel.


Older versions

Current IIIF specifications should be used for all new work. Old versions are retained for reference and are listed below. Technical resources and reference implementations of older versions are NOT guaranteed to be maintained across new major versions.

Old API Version Notes
Authentication API 0.9.4 Published 2016-10-05
Authentication API 1.0 Published 2017-01-19
Change Discovery API 0.9.2 Published 2021-04-28
Image API 2.1 Published 2016-05-12, updated 2017-06-09
Image API 2.0 Published 2014-09-11
Image API 1.1 Published 2013-09-17
Image API 1.0 Published 2012-08-10
Presentation API 2.1 Published 2016-05-12, updated 2017-06-09
Presentation API 2.0 Published 2014-08-12
Metadata API 1.0 “Metadata API” was replaced with the Presentation API, published 2013-09-16
Metadata API 0.9 Draft of the “Metadata API”, published 2013-06-11
Search API 0.9 Draft published 2016-04-11
Search API 1.0 Published 2016-05-12


IIIF also has a series of Implementation Notes which are not subject to the same process as formal APIs but may be useful to implementers.


IIIF Specifications are created and published following the IIIF Editorial Process.