Welcome to the IIIF4Research Network!

This network will investigate the potential for innovative forms of scholarly discussion and interchange offered by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). IIIF enables much easier sharing, annotation and manipulation of digital images from libraries, archives, galleries, and museums across institutional and national boundaries, and offers researchers exciting new possibilities for joint analysis, documentation and discussion of primary materials. IIIF has been one of the most successful digital humanities initiatives of recent years and has been adopted by a wide range of heritage institutions across the world, including the Vatican Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the British Library, the Digital Repository of Ireland, and the National Libraries of Wales and Scotland.

Major libraries of historic manuscripts, such as the Parker Library at the University of Cambridge and the Durham Priory Library, are being made available in their entirety using IIIF. IIIF-compliant browsers such as Mirador enable images from collections in different countries to be compared side-by-side at very high magnification, offering the prospect of easily creating large trans-national collections of images of manuscripts and other primary materials. IIIF browsers also support user annotation of images, thereby potentially fostering the emergence of new forms of scholarly presentation and shared commentary on primary materials and artefacts. Some of the possibilities have already been demonstrated by scholars such as Jeffrey C. Witt of Loyola University, who has used IIIF to generate image-based scholarly editions.

The objectives of this research network are to organise four workshops which will build a dialogue between arts and humanities researchers, curators and information professionals intended to develop research-driven agendas for the deployment and development of IIIF to investigate a wide range of primary materials and archives relevant to humanities research domains. The workshops will build on acknowledged leadership in development and promotion of IIIF in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. They will demonstrate the many different ways in which IIIF supports innovative analysis and commentary on the various types of source material used by arts and humanities researchers. They will document user cases where the facilities offered by IIIF are valuable in addressing particular research questions. Reports and presentations from the workshops will be made available to facilitate future development of IIIF and to encourage scholarly engagement with the potential of IIIF. The workshops will also be used to develop larger-scale projects making use of IIIF, including it is hoped projects suitable for funding in future UK-Ireland joint funding calls.

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