Now and next: How IIIF is driving a step-change in user-interface for digital archives and libraries

Andy Cummins - Cogapp (UK), Ben Rubinstein - Cogapp (UK)

Presentation type: Presentation


In this presentation we will look at the current state-of-the-art and what’s next in the evolution of digital archive/library interfaces. Through our presentation we will demonstrate how raw images and cataloguing metadata can be leveraged to create user-facing features based on the open standards provided by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF).

We will explore how rich, responsive interfaces deepen engagement with users on mobile and desktop devices. Among others, we will look at the Endangered Archives Programme ( and the Qatar Digital Library ( which comprise 6.5 million and 1.7 million digitised pages respectively.

These projects both demonstrate international inter-library cooperation and collectively surface content from all over the globe. We will demonstrate how IIIF allows us to present content online through interfaces that empower researchers and scholars in ways that until now were not possible.

For example, we look at how OCR transcripts combined with positional information allow implementation of the IIIF Content Search API, providing users with fast and accurate highlighting of search terms within document fragments.

Finally we will explore some examples of how IIIF can enable more experiential engagements with content more aimed at the general public rather than researchers.


  • IIIF Implementation Spectrum: large-scale or small-scale projects,
  • Interoperability in IIIF contexts,
  • Implementations of IIIF outside of North America/Europe