IIIF and the Scottish Play: Re-purposing IIIF viewers to present a global perspective of Macbeth ... and more

Stacey Redick - Folger Shakespeare Library (United States), Richard Palmer - Victoria & Albert Museum (United Kingdom)

Presentation type: Presentation


The Macbeth Story website, built collaboratively by a cross-institutional team from the V&A, AusStage, NUI-Galway, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, brings together IIIF-compliant images of artifacts from these institutions to tell a unique story of Macbeth performances in Australia, Ireland, England, and the United States. These images will be shown alongside their related metadata and associated annotations in a IIIF slideshow viewer originally developed by the V&A and in a IIIF single-item viewer originally developed by the Folger. IIIF standards and tools have given us the technological infrastructure that enable us to easily, automatically, and consistently combine these resources in one WordPress website, broadening the reach of our collections and connecting our resources in a way that has never been done before.

This experimental website will be built on a customized WordPress environment connected to the Folger’s new home for digital collections online: the Miranda digital asset platform. Miranda’s UV-based viewer will pull digitized images and their metadata directly from Miranda via IIIF and GraphQL queries. The site will also look to present images and annotations in a selection of viewers built on top of the CanvasPanel library (a React-based component built for the V&A) such as Slideshows, Annotated Image, and Image Tours. Each of these viewing experiences has been developed as open source components by the Folger & the V&A, with code available for re-use and extension by other institutions.

This IIIF viewer exchange has immediate implications beyond the Macbeth Story website: once the slideshow viewer has been re-packaged into a WordPress plugin format, the Folger will be able to investigate using it on other WordPress blogs to showcase series of related items. In addition, the V&A is investigating how the Miranda UV-based viewer can be implemented on their WordPress blog, which currently doesn't have any IIIF capability, unlike the rest of the V&A website.

In this talk, we will begin by showcasing the Macbeth Story website and the tools that we have created, highlighting how IIIF viewers are helping us to reach broader, cross-institutional audiences. Then we will go into the technical process of evaluating and reworking the code for each viewer, where it needs to be integrated by the receiving institution. We will share the discoveries and challenges (not the least of which are the time zone differences) that have emerged throughout the project, to aid others embarking on similar partnerships. For example, we’ll share advice on how to make code available for others to use while ensuring that it works optimally for the originating institution, which can be a complex conflicting goal. Finally, we will share our next steps for these IIIF resources and viewers.


  • Interoperability in IIIF contexts


  • Interoperability,
  • re-use,
  • re-purpose,
  • UV,
  • viewers,
  • CanvasPanel,
  • WordPress