DUBLIN, Ohio, 2 October 2017—OCLC now supports IIIF Image and Presentation APIs in its CONTENTdm digital collection management software, ensuring that its member libraries and institutions can share and present millions of digital images across a variety of applications and platforms.
CONTENTdm, currently used by more than 2,500 institutions worldwide, was recently redesigned to create a new end-user experience for any device. The redesign supports the IIIF Image API, which provides a common mechanism for manipulating digital images for display and download. The IIIF Presentation API, which makes it possible to present image metadata and navigate through complex digital objects, is now the second API added to CONTENTdm.
The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), driven by a thriving community of libraries, museums, software firms, scholars and technologists working with digital images and digital image repositories, provides a community-driven set of shared API specifications for interoperable functionality in digital image repositories.
"We are making IIIF APIs foundational to CONTENTdm development because we want OCLC member libraries to be able to provide uniform and rich access to the images in their repositories," said Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management. "With IIIF, CONTENTdm collections can be showcased in new ways and give scholars and researchers better options for viewing and comparing visual resources within and across repositories. As a direct result of this move, there are now an additional 30 million digital images held by CONTENTdm institutions available through IIIF APIs."
IIIF creates new ways to collaborate with other institutions and gain from collective efforts, providing users with a rich set of common functionalities to view, compare, manipulate and interact with digital items on the Web, an experience made portable–shareable, citable, and embeddable. Because of the incorporation of IIIF, CONTENTdm users now have access to open-source tools that use IIIF specifications. Libraries with CONTENTdm can now support their communities with the latest research support tools to help them get the most out of their unique collections. Those institutions that may lack some software development capabilities can still use this innovative software, developed by others.
For example, Mirador, an open source, community driven web-based multi-window image viewing platform, uses IIIF APIs to allow for side-by-side comparison of digital images, with the ability to zoom, display, compare and annotate images from around the world. Mirador gives researchers rich access to view, compare, and annotate rare and unique content across IIIF repositories.
OCLC support of IIIF APIs was discussed at the CONTENTdm User Group Meeting 2017 on September 28, in Kingston, New York, USA. The meeting was held in conjunction with The Northeast Regional Digital Collections Conference. This event provided opportunities for digital collections creators and curators in the region and beyond to network, share best practices, participate in workshops, and learn from leaders in digital cultural heritage.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.