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Launched: 2011
Record Updated: Apr 25, 2024
Standard, specification, or protocol
IIIF is a set of open standards for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. It’s also an international community developing and implementing the IIIF APIs. IIIF is backed by a consortium of leading cultural institutions. IIIF Consortium is an affiliate of CLIR.

This is pricing for joining and supporting the consortium, however it is critical to note that implementing IIIF is and will always be free, based on free and open standards!:


To produce a set of interoperable technologies and a community framework for the delivery of digitized collections.

Key Achievements

  • Supported the official adoption of IIIF by the Internet Archive (
  • Increasing adoption at the national level (Italy, UK, France, Luxembourg) and for standards organizations worldwide, such as by CETAF ( and similar domain standards organizations
  • Founded new 3D Technical Specification Group, officially chartered to develop the means of integrating 3D models for cultural heritage, archaeology, and more
  • Technical Attributes

    Open Code Repository


    Maintenance Status

    Actively maintained

    Open Product Roadmap


    Open API


    Content Licensing

    As an open standard, IIIF does not control the content licensing of users of the standard.

    Standards Employed

    Hosting Options & Service Providers

    Hosting Strategy

    Not applicable

    Service Providers We don't formally vet or require particular levels of IIIF compliance, but we do feature community partners that we're aware of in a few different places.

    What other tools and projects does your project interact with?

    We recently announced a community partnership with the Internet Archive, which has formally adopted the IIIF 3.0 specifications for image and object presentation delivery.

    There is a great deal of overlap in the work that is done by the IIIF Editors and group co-chairs, and the work done by other standards organizations like the W3C.

    Community Engagement

    Code of Conduct


    Community Engagement


    Organizational Commitment to Community Engagement

    Calendar of 100% public Community Group calls, 100% open community communication listserv and Slack, periodic online training events with free tickets for self-identified members of underrepresented groups within the IIIF Community, dedicated Community and Communications Coordinator staff role

    Engagement with Values Frameworks

    IIIF is frequently invoked as a major means by which our community institutions align themselves with the FAIR Principles ( Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable -- particularly the latter three.

    User Contribution Pathways

    • Contribute funds
    • Contribute to code
    • Contribute to documentation
    • Contribute to education or training
    • Contribute to working groups or interest groups

    Policies & Governance

    Governance Summary

    IIIF is governed by an Executive Committee and an Operating Committee.


    Commitment to Equity & Inclusion


    Privacy Policy


    Governance Activities


    Governance Structure & Processes


    Transparent Pricing and Cost Expectations


    Additional Information

    Organizational History

    The Image API was proposed in late 2011 as a collaboration between The British Library, Stanford University, the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford University), the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library of Norway), Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library, and Cornell University. Version 1.0 was published in 2012. Version 1.0 of the Presentation API was published in 2013 and of the Search API in 2016. (from

    Version 3.0 of the search and presentation APIs were published in 2020.

    The IIIF Consortium was founded in 2015 to support the work of the community, and provide governance structures:

    Started as a Consortium with 11 members, and has grown to 65 as of this year.

    Organizational Structure

    Business or Ownership Model

    Fiscal sponsorship (non-profit)

    Full-time Staff



    Primary Funding Source


    Funding Needs

    As the IIIF Consortium expands its operations and operations, we primarily are exploring funding opportunities around training/translation, and ttravel support for the volunteer specification editors and technical group co-chairs.

    We have a robust set of online and in-person training offerings, and we make all the training materials we use available openly so that anyone can make use of them at their own pace. We also offer a relatively low-cost paid online training option that features extensive instructor support, which has proven incredibly popular. However, we're reaching the limit of what our sole instructor can offer in a given year; likewise we're also eager to translate our existing training materials into a wide variety of languages including Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, and French, among others, so that we can extend the reach of our open access training materials.

    We have also done important work toward addressing gender imbalances in structures like the IIIF Editorial Committee and the co-chairs of our Technical Specification Groups. With this, however, we are encountering an increasing need to financially support travel for the newer editors and co-chairs who tend to be less senior and have less financial support from their institutions to travel to Editor and TSG meetings—especially for meetings abroad. Though we have made important strides in making online meetings a primary means of IIIF business, there remains the fact that the writing of open standards and specifications is most efficiently done via focused in-person meetings. In order to foster a more diverse and sustainable Editorial Committee and set of technical group co-chairs, the IIIF Consortium is exploring funding options that would allow us to continue this important work without sacrificing the efficiency of in-person meetings to move the specifications forward.