Paper 34

2018 Washington conference submission

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Unlocking our Sound Heritage: IIIF AV at the British Library

Andy Irving - British Library (United Kingdom)

Abstract: The British Library is home to the UK’s sound archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings of speech, music, broadcast, wildlife and the environment, from the 1880s to the present day.
These physical sound recordings are under threat, with consensus worldwide being that we have approximately 15 years to digitise these collections before they become unplayable.
The British Library, in collaboration with 10 regional partners throughout the UK, began mass digitisation of these at-risk collections in 2016. The British Library will then make every single one of them available using IIIF from 2018.
This presentation will cover some of the challenges faced when undertaking a project of this size; our collaboration with the IIIF community to push forward with presentation API 3; our cultural change to use IIIF by default, and our contributions to Universal Viewer.

Presentation type: 20 minute presentations (plus 5 mins questions)


  • IIIF synergies with regional and national ongoing digital libraries, museums and archives initiatives,
  • IIIF enabled collaboration,
  • Audio/Video IIIF implementations


  • AV,
  • Collaboration,
  • Community