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2018 Washington conference submission

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Diverse Applications of Linked Data Notifications for IIIF Resources

Patrick Cuba - Walter J. Ong, S.J. Center for Digital Humanities (United States), Jeffrey Witt - Loyola University Maryland (United States)

Abstract: In 2016, Jeffrey Witt and Rafael Schwemmer presented a possible solution to the IIIF conference
which suggested a standard service block attached to Manifest objects that provided a venue for the
supplements the scholarly community may want to attach. In 2017, the Linked Data Notification
standard was selected from among others (WebMentions, Activity Streams, pingback, etc.) and
implemented in a general, centralized LDN Inbox, not requiring individual institutions to host and
maintain their own services. This Rerum Inbox, hosted by The Walter J. Ong, S.J. Center for
Digital Humanities (OngCDH), has been in operation since last August, receiving Announcements from
the scholarly community and serving as the fallback Inbox for the Mirador LDN Plugin (implemented
at http://mirador.scta.info/) written by Jeffrey Witt. In startling fact, this has "just worked" for
many supplements to Manifests... so long as they are Ranges indicating Table of Contents.

Jeffrey Witt and Patrick Cuba (Lead Developer, OngCDH) recognized that the Rerum Inbox did not
restrict what types of Announcements could be made, but the plugin was not able to render diverse
supplements into the Mirador viewer. In response, the Mirador LDN Inbox has been extended to detect
and augment Layers and AnnotationLists for annotations created in popular tools for transcriptions.
In addition, inbox-docs.rerum.io has been updated with simple web forms (including Drag n' Drop) to
allow anyone to poll the Inbox for Announcements on a digital resource identifier or to create a new
Announcement without using the command line or some cUrl utility.

In this presentation, a quick demonstration of the existing Inbox+Mirador functionality will be
done, accompanied by a conversation exploring the additional applications of the LDN standard.
Rerum Inbox enforces no specific bias, so the conventions of the community become the de facto
standard without limiting experimentation. Jeffrey Witt is already working on an extension to his
useful plugin that exposes the results of peer review for supplemental content. Several popular
transcription applications (TPEN, FromThePage, TEI Web Editor) are working towards exposing
transcription projects through LDN, both to contribute completed transcriptions and to leave a
calling card on works in progress, allowing other scholars to discover existing efforts and new
communities. Previous conversations among developers have considered error logging for malformed or
unavailable Manifests to be important and difficult, but there is space in an LDN Inbox for these
Announcements. Even if the only short-term advances were to enrich the Mirador and other IIIF
viewers with content for tables of contents; to describe physical structures (such as leaf Ranges);
to supplement with intentional Layers for transcription, commentary, and annotation; to offer richer
descriptions and metadata; and to attach additional service blocks for searching, transcoding, or
visualizing resources—it would be well worth the effort.

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


  • IIIF and archival collections,
  • IIIF synergies with regional and national ongoing digital libraries, museums and archives initiatives,
  • IIIF enabled collaboration,
  • Discovery of IIIF resources,
  • IIIF content communities (museums, manuscripts, newspapers, archival content, etc.),
  • IIIF-compatible software and experimentation,
  • Training materials and documentation


  • notification,
  • interoperability,
  • discovery,
  • contribution,
  • services,
  • public,
  • open,
  • free,
  • standards,
  • peer-review,
  • error-reporting,
  • releases,
  • publishing