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Digital library architecture

The Stanford University Libaries is one of the founding partners of the International Image Interoperability Framework (, which aims to enable broad access to cultural heritage images on the web. This exciting initiative is in its fifth year and is beginning to have an impact on the way digital images are used to support research and teaching.  The IIIF editors recently released version 2.0 the IIIF API's, which is a major step towards creating a stable and sustainable technology framework for image interoperability.   

To celebrate this progress, the IIIF community is hosting a one day information sharing event at the British Library about the use of images in and across cultural heritage institutions.  The day will focus on how museums, galleries, libraries and archives, or any online image service, can take advantage of a powerful technical framework for interoperability between image repositories.   This event will be valuable for organizational decision makers, repository and collection managers, software engineers, and anyone interested in exploring the wide range of use cases that are seamlessly enabled by the framework.  

Attendance is free, and widespread dissemination of the event is encouraged.

A detailed program is available at and those interested can register to attend at


Spotlights in the Centre Ceramique, Maastricht

by Stu Snydman & Gary Geisler

The Stanford University Libraries (SUL) have a rich and diverse collection of digital content. Users can discover collections and content from the Stanford Digital Repository through the library website, library catalog (SearchWorks), and persistent citation (PURL) pages. SUL also develops robust, custom-built websites for selected  collections (see Parker on the Web and the French Revolution Digital Archive) that provide a rich discovery environment and a range of features that enable users to more effectively work with the collection items. But these sites require significant investment in time and development resources to produce and maintain, limiting the number and variety SUL can support.

The International Image Interoperability Framework ( is an initiative driven by several major research and national libraries to enable the rich and robust delivery of digital images through common interfaces, and to spur the development of open source and commercial software solutions in this space.

The IIIF Working Group invites comment and feedback on a proposed API for the the delivery of images via a standard http request. The full specification can be found at:

The IIIF Image API specifies a web service that returns an image in response to a standard http or https request. The URL can specify the region, size, rotation, quality characteristics and format of the requested image. A URL can also be constructed to request basic technical information about the image to support client applications.