DH News

Performant at IIIF 2019

The 2019 IIIF Conference was held in Göttingen, Germany in June. Nick Laiacona, of Performant Software was one of the presenters this year.

Performant at IIIF 2019

The Gänseliesel (goose girl)

Performant at IIIF 2019 2

Nick recently attended the 2019 IIIF Conference in Göttingen, Germany. The program followed its usual pattern of a showcase and workshops followed by parallel sessions with deep dives on specific topics. European and United States institutions were well represented, but there were also speakers from Japan, Cuba, and South Africa.

One of the big themes this year was institution wide scale implementations of IIIF. Large cultural institutions are tackling this world wide, unlocking tens of millions of open access primary source materials. The International Institute for Digital Humanities, based in Japan, demonstrated a search portal for Japanese cultural materials from The University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, National Diet Library and National Institute of Japanese Literature. Europeana, which already has contributions from over 3,000 institutions across Europe, is seeking to provide IIIF Manifests across their collections. The Digital Library of the Middle East, a CLIR/Mellon initiative partnering with Qatar Library, is also providing IIIF Manifests. Meanwhile, OCLC has baked IIIF Manifest support into new versions of their contentDM platform.

With so much data becoming available, new possibilities emerge for the discovery of content within the world’s cultural heritage institutions. GallicaPix, a project from the research group at Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), is an example of this potential. GallicaPix uses AI classification algorithms to provide new ways to search the BnF. Researchers from the KNAWS project at the Huygens Institute demonstrated their efforts to categorize manuscripts scripts, utilizing siamese networks for contrastive analysis. Classifying manuscripts in this way lays the ground work for future OCR training efforts, allowing neural networks to be training on subsets of the corpus with similar properties.

It was announced that version 3.0 of the IIIF Presentation API is now in BETA stage and ready for implementation. Performant will review the latest specification in order to implement these standards in future projects. The new specification can be found here: https://iiif.io/api/presentation/3.0/

Need some help on a project using IIIF? We’re using the standard in a range of applications, and we’d love to hear what you have in mind!