The Biblissima team has recently launched a viewer prototype which will give users a clear idea of the new possibilities that become available as a result of the interoperability of digital image repositories, both within the scope of the Biblissima project and beyond. This application, known as Mirador, is developed and maintained by Stanford University as part of the DMSTech project.
An implementation of Mirador is available on Biblissima's demo platform: https://demos.biblissima.fr/mirador/
In this demo, the user can consult a number of manuscripts, held by different institutions, in the same interface. In particular, there are several manuscripts from Stanford and Yale, as well as a first example from Gallica and served by Biblissima (BnF Français 1728). It is expected that images from other digital libraries around the world will soon be available as part of this experiment. Test implementations of Mirador have also been deployed at the British Library and Stanford University (see the Apps & Demos section of the official IIIF website).
It is important to note that the images displayed in the viewer do not leave their original repositories: this is one of the fundamental principles of the IIIF initiative. All data (images and associated metadata) remain in their respective repositories and the institutions responsible for them maintain full control over what they choose to share. As such, each library can open access to their data while still keeping control over it and respecting a certain number of common rules which lay the foundation for deep interoperability. These prinicples are shared by the IIIF community and are defined by a pair of technical specifications, Image API and Metadata API (which are in turn based on an underlying data model called Shared Canvas).
In its current state, the Mirador viewer is first and foremost a proof of concept that demonstrates image interoperability through the implementation of these two specifications. It is still in a phase of active development and as such, it is not yet fully functional nor completely stable or optimised. Other features will soon be integrated, such as a tool for annotating the images or the option to display a translation or transcription of the text alongside the digital surrogate.
- Presentation of Mirador at the 2013 Digital Library Federation forum by the team at Stanford: Interoperability in practice: a cross-repository image viewer (Mirador)
- Official website of the IIIF initiative
- Mirador demo site (Stanford)