Combining TEI and IIIF in a Virtual Research Environment

Mathias Göbel - Göttingen State and University Library (Germany), Christoph Kudella - Göttingen State and University Library (Germany), Ubbo Veentjer - Göttingen State and University Library (Germany), Uwe Sikora - Göttingen State and University Library (Germany)

Presentation type: Presentation


The capabilities of IIIF to crop images, annotate parts, and link to text and metadata resources have the potential to turn this framework into a major player in the field of digital editions. In particular, this holds true with regard to text-image-synopsis, as some IIIF viewers feature the annotation layer to connect image and text.

The Virtual Research Environment (VRE) TextGrid provides an increasing compatibility with the aforementioned IIIF features. The most recent step in this context is the integration of an IIIF viewer into its client, the TextGrid Laboratory (an RCP-based editor for preparing Digital Editions). This allows the native format of TextGrid for text-image-link files (that was established before IIIF started) to be displayed in this viewer via the annotation layer or as a set of canvases containing crops made with the editor (

TextGrid has the built-in capability to create IIIF manifests by converting *published* TEI or METS/MODS resources since 2013. In addition to the conversion of content from specific TEI resources to the IIIF annotation layer ( and the publication of IIIF manifests in the TextGrid Repository, we now also offer IIIF viewing functionalities within the client software. This prototype is able to generate IIIF manifests on the fly based on the order and hierarchy of objects in a navigational tool of the client that supports drag-and-drop. As such, it provides a preview of *unpublished* data that are stored in a private part of the repository. It allows for the presentation of a selected collection (TEI/XML or METS/MODS files, including the text-image-links) either via the annotation layer or by adding the cropped selections as items to the canvases.

This feature lets users preview the IIIF manifests and their presentation in an IIIF viewer *before* publishing the data. It is a valuable addition to the TextGrid Lab workspace, as it makes major benefits of IIIF available not only during publishing, but already during the preparation of Digital Editions.


  • Annotation, including full-text or academic use cases,
  • IIIF Implementation Spectrum: large-scale or small-scale projects


  • Digital Edition,
  • VRE,
  • TEI,
  • Text-Image-Link,
  • Synosis