IIIF at Scale

How-to Session

Friday, April 03, 2020: 3:00pm - 3:50pm -

Neil Hawkins, Cogapp, UK, Rob Lancefield, Yale Center for British Art, USA, Jeffrey Campbell, Yale University, USA, Stefano Cossu, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA

The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) is rapidly gaining traction as the preferred way to surface open-access images and metadata for cultural institutions worldwide. It provides easy use and reuse of high-resolution, zoomable images, and can provide internal and external users with powerful tools for scholarship, collaboration, storytelling and more.
However, once you’re convinced by the why, there remains the tricky question of how. This presentation aims to demystify the tools and techniques needed to deliver IIIF images and metadata at scale: using examples of the workflows and technical systems that between them provide access to over nine million IIIF images, and hundreds of thousands of IIIF manifests.
The examples will be drawn from various institutions including the National Portrait Gallery, the Clyfford Still museum, the British Library, the National Archives of the UK, Yale University and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Specifically, we will look at the processes and software needed to provide four key elements of the IIIF stable, namely:
Image API: surfacing images in a standards-based and easy-to-use manner
Presentation API: describing those images and how they link to other images
Content Search API: how to quickly find ‘annotations’ for those images (e.g. transcribed text or educational commentary)
Authentication API: how to manage access to restricted resources based on access policies
We will consider the end-to-end journey of the images and descriptive metadata from their backend repositories through to the delivery mechanisms, while looking at useful intermediate systems. We will also look at the implementation of IIIF systems which may start with a small dataset, but are built for growth from the outset. Finally, we will look at modern ways to use cloud computing to ensure that the systems that deliver large IIIF installations are not only robust and performant, but also cost-effective when dealing with millions of images.