IIIF for Education Community Group Charter

The IIIF Community Group for Education represents educators, educational institutions, and cultural heritage institutions with educational functions as a sector with a coherent set of interests for consideration in the development of IIIF standards and related technologies. IIIF originated in the GLAM sector, so it is not unexpected that its uptake in educational institutions has lagged behind those of cultural heritage content providers. The Community Group for Education seeks to address that gap and to help leverage capacities of the broader IIIF community to meet the many and particular needs of what is likely to be the largest and most engaged audience for IIIF content. Representing numerous complex and collaborative scenarios, education offers growth potential in future generations.

The need for a dedicated Community Group for Education is significant. Currently, IIIF and digital collections are not well known by educators nor actively used for instruction. Outreach efforts only address part of the problem. Content collections, tools and systems for its use are designed principally for individual research or public engagement and present prohibitive challenges for curricular implementation. In educational settings, users generally perform complex social roles with functional and relational, rather than individual, motivations. Teachers, for example, design and implement learning activities for students. Students complete assignments and are assessed in their performance. Educational scenarios can entail required (rather than elective) inquiry, authenticated user content, privacy, accessibility, and Learning Tool Interoperability. Those positioned to provide IIIF curricular support, such as academic technologists and instructional designers, are largely unaware of IIIF or otherwise uninvested in its engagement. The work of this Community Group may also inform other domains where use of IIIF collections is complex, integrated, and socially structured.

Our work is informed by a shared vision of the potentials of IIIF, e.g. delivery of high quality digital cultural heritage collections, interoperability of resources, and facilitated reuse of materials across platforms. IIIF offers innovative approaches to pressing challenges within the humanities and humanistic social sciences, such as career-ready digital skills and multimodal information literacies. Leveraging an increasing trend among educators in the use of tangible primary source materials, IIIF collections can facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer between faculty, students, administrators, instructional designers, academic technologists, librarians, and museum curators. Hallmarks of an achieved vision will include widespread IIIF awareness and literacy among education professionals; easy curation of resources and development of learning activities using IIIF-compatible tools and platforms; systematic integration of IT infrastructure for IIIF content between institutional units (e.g. library, museum, instructional support, academic technology, academic departments). Most fundamentally, success in the widespread adoption of IIIF-compatible digital collections and technologies for instruction will be determined by evidence of student learning and achieved proficiencies.


  • Articulate learning goals and a framework for IIIF literacy, and align it with existing digital literacy initiatives, content standards, and pedagogical frameworks.
  • Inform the IIIF community of education-specific needs and use cases for IIIF content, and represent educational interests to other IIIF Community Groups.
  • Provide educational specifications for inventorying, adapting, and/or developing IIIF-compatible technologies for instructional use, and collaborate with developers on their design, implementation, and assessment.
  • Introduce educators and education administrators to IIIF, IIIF-based digital collections, and compatible technologies for instructional use.
  • Design and/ or document innovative curricula using IIIF content, tools, and systems, including direct instruction, remote/hybrid, experiential, and project-based learning.
  • Foster a network of educators and education-related professionals in support of rigorous, sustainable, and scalable engagement with IIIF digital collections in curricula.
  • Establish guidelines and best-practices in the use of IIIF for inclusive and accessible pedagogy.
  • Disseminate enterprise-level guidance for educational institutions and affiliated libraries and cultural heritage institutions to integrate IIIF-compatible systems for content and learning management.


  1. A IIIF Guide for Educators describing potential benefits of IIIF for teaching and learning.
  2. An administrative blueprint for academic, library, museum, and IT leadership providing information about change management, software infrastructure, authentication, and course management system integrations.
  3. Development of stopgap IIIF tools and plugins to address instructional needs
  4. A categorized inventory of existing IIIF-compatible technologies with examples of their use in course assignments.
  5. Specifications for IIIF-related tools as instructional technology.
  6. Shared curricula in LMS and other modalities as Open Educational Resources (OER).
  7. An open community of educators.


  • Fall 2022 - present: announced intent to form Community Group in IIIF Newsletter and Slack channel; convened regular informal weekly meetings of interested parties from several educational and cultural heritage institutions in the United States and Europe. (Topics under consideration included shared common interests and demonstrations of educational uses of various IIIF-related software tools)
  • Summer/Fall 2023: Gathered examples of IIIF resources and IIIF-enabled tools in course assignments.
  • Spring-Fall 2023: Implemented IIIF course assignments in live courses via UCLA and Princeton University’s Canvas course management systems.
  • Spring 2024: Our desire is to become a recognized IIIF community group prior to the IIIF conference in June of that year.



Christopher Gilman (University of California, Los Angeles)

Lise Foket (Ghent University)

Ben Johnston (Princeton University)

Communication Channels

Notes, Agendas, and Group Documents

IIIF for Education Group folder