The main portal into Library and University Collections’ Special Collections content, collections.ed.ac.uk, is changing. A design overhaul which will improve discovery both logically and aesthetically is coming very soon, but in advance, we’ve implemented an important element of functionality, namely the IIIF approach to images.
Two sites have been affected to that end: Art (https://collections.ed.ac.uk/art– 2859 IIIF images in 2433 manifests across 4715 items) and Musical Instruments (https://collections.ed.ac.uk/mimed– 8070 IIIF images in 4097 manifests across 5105 items)) now feature direct IIIF thumbnails, embedded image zooming and manifest availability. A third site, the St Cecilia’s Hall collection (https://collections.ed.ac.uk/stcecilias) already had the first two elements, but manifests for its items are now available to the user.
What does this all mean? To take each element in turn:
Direct IIIF thumbnails
The search results pages on the site no longer directly reference images on the collections.ed servers, but bring in a LUNA URL using the IIIF image API format, which offers the user flexibility on size, region, rotation and quality.
Embedded image zooming
Using IIIF images served from the LUNA server and the OpenSeadragon viewer, images can now be zoomed directly on the page, where previously we needed an additional link out to the LUNA repository.
Based on the images attached to the record in the Vernon CMS, we have built IIIF manifests and made them available, one per object. Manifests are a set of presentation instructions to render a set of images according to curatorial choice, and they can be dropped into standard IIIF viewers. We have created a button to present them in Universal Viewer (UV), and will be adding another to bring in Mirador in due course.
Watch this space for more development on these sites in the very near future. The look-and-feel will change significantly, but the task will be made easier with IIIF as a foundation.
Scott Renton, Digital Development