Assembling an IIIF Cocktail

Angela Wolff - The V&A (UK)

Presentation type: Lightning talk


A new developer’s foray into IIIF scripting.

I started my developer journey with the V&A, and in my early days I was introduced to the IIIF framework which enables the museum to present collections data and images in a variety of exciting ways. Typical examples include slide shows, annotated zoomable images and annotated tours.

Alongside the digital experience there is often a need for a packaged output such as a pdf, zip file or ebook. Manually inserting and manipulating, potentially hundreds of images into a document for conversion to a pdf was not the most favoured task of our content team.

This was quickly identified as a suitable initial project for a novice developer. It was an opportunity to get to grips with the IIIF standards and manifest schema while also building some fundamental programming skills and a useful command line utility in the process.

The finished product was named Cocktail as a hat tip to the dependancy gem - PrawnPdf which made the pdf generation possible.

Cocktail is a Ruby program that enables you to generate a customisable pdf from either a P2 or P3 IIIF manifest and includes a multitude of options that can be passed as arguments to the command line or embedded within a config file. Options available from the outset include, orientation, border colour, title images, folio prefixes and printable page range amongst others.

We intend to make use of this on our site to allow people to download a packaged representation of some of the special collection items held by the National Art Library at the V&A. The code will also be available via GitHub so others can benefit from (and add to) the time saving tool.


  • Discovering IIIF resources,
  • IIIF communities (3D, archives, museums, manuscripts, newspapers, etc.)


  • IIIF,
  • Ruby