IIIF Content State API published

  IIIF-C Staff    |      March 16, 2022

The IIIF Discovery Technical Specification group and the IIIF Editorial Committee are pleased to announce the official publication of the new Content State API specification after a unanimous vote of approval from the Technical Review Committee. This bring the total number of official IIIF API specifications to six.

As IIIF Editor Tom Crane puts it, “IIIF Content State is how we point at things in IIIF” – i.e., a means to generate a very specific link to a particular view of an object, like a specific area on a particular page rotated at a certain angle.

Example use cases for sharing a resource, or a particular view of a resource, include:

  • A user follows a link from a search result, which opens a IIIF viewer. The viewer focuses on the relevant part of the object, such as a particular line of text that contains the searched-for term.
  • A user opens several IIIF manifests [What’s a manifest?] to compare paintings, then wishes to share this set of views with a colleague.

Other examples include bookmarks, citations, playlists and deep linking into digital objects.

For a non-technical overview, see “What is IIIF Content State” by IIIF Editor Tom Crane.

There are already a number of implementations of the new standard, including the virally popular Animal Crossing Art Generator from the Getty used to import any IIIF image into the tool, and an example from Durham University that demonstrates the ability to link directly to a very specific annotation of a small house within the context of a large map.


Please contact staff@iiif.io.