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Preparing Europeana for IIIF involvement

This Task Force identified the current trends and tendencies towards the handling of the emerging IIIF technology on the part of Europeana content providers.

Posted on Wednesday August 2, 2017

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

1 February 2017 to 30 June 2017
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In recent years, the International Interoperability Framework (IIIF) has become a formidable community whose strong focus and cohesion have improved the online presentation, retrieval, and enrichment of images within the humanities and heritage sector. Finding great value in IIIF's products, services, and its community, Europeana has adopted it but a large portion of the Europeana Network is unaware or unsure of IIIF and how it works. To investigate this further, EuropeanaTech has launched the IIIF Task Force led by the Austrian National Library.

The purpose of the Task Force was to identify the current trends and tendencies towards the handling of the emerging IIIF technology on the part of the Europeana content providers. The Task Force evaluated what the necessary consequences for the Europeana Foundation of the results of this survey are and gave appropriate recommendations for future application of IIIF technologies within the Europeana ecosystem. To achieve this objective the Task Force members did a) survey the use of IIIF technologies on the part of the Europeana content providers, b) identified possible implementation problems and requirements on the part of Europeana stakeholders on the IIIF framework, c) made visible the first point of contact for partners who want to work with IIIF,d) identify who in the network is willing to be involved in future IIIF-related activities and e) discussed what role Europeana Foundation wants expert hubs and aggregators to play.


The Task Force’s goals fit perfectly into Europeana's efforts to expand Open Data as noted in the Europeana Business Plan “Creating Cultural Connections”. It prepared the establishment of active exchange routines and mutual incentives with the IIIF framework. They also fit other goals and objectives, as listed below

Open the data

  • Improve data quality
    • Innovate the way we aggregate material (using more direct way to access better-quality content using and contributing to a set of new standard APIs)
    • Champion interoperability (Interoperability, data modeling and exchange of better interoperable content and content-level metadata)
    • Develop community-segmented services
  • Europeana Research (IIIF is a powerful enabler for researchers in some fields)
  • Europeana Collections (boosting the way Collection services can exploit and provide access to digitized cultural material)


The Task Force presented final recommendations on the general use and handling of IIIF technologies within the Europeana ecosystem. The Task Force arrived at a proposal to establish a future Working Group on the involvement of Europeana stakeholders in the IIIF developer community containing a list of prioritized activities for the months and years to come.

Communication of results

We informed the Europeana Community about the Task Force’s outcome via an entry in the posts on Europeana Pro and Europeana Lab, the relevant email lists (e.g. EuropeanaTech list) as well as via a Twitter campaign with the help from the EF communication officers. Furthermore, the IIIF developer community wias kept in the loop via their communication channels. If possible, the recommendations will be presented at conferences and workshops relevant to the topic.