May 24, 2022

The Getty Museum Publishes 30,000 Images Online Using IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework)

UPDATE: Also New Today…
Yale Center for British Art Adds 70,000 Online Collection Images Using IIIF

From The Getty Iris:

Today we published more than 30,000 images from the Getty Museum’s collection on using IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework).

2017-06-01_12-19-02You can see and click on the red-and-blue logo underneath the main image of any of the Museum collections, such as Van Gogh’s Irises, to explore our content through any IIIF-compatible viewer.


The images now available via IIIF are from the Open Content Program. These were selected as the first tranche of content, as the rights have already been cleared to make them openly available. Any new images added to the Open Content set will automatically be available via IIIF, and images from Getty Research Institute collections are expected to be available before the end of the year.


The Getty Museum has published an implementation of both the Image and Presentation APIs on its online collection. The Image API gives access to the images’ pixels, enabling the smooth and deep zoom you’ll experience in the Mirador client, along with technical information about the image such as its dimensions and available formats. The Presentation API gives the rest of the information you’ll see—the title of the object and all of its metadata, rights information, and, if there is more than one image, the order in which to display them.


The IIIF Presentation API is very complete—so complete, in fact, that its functionality is beginning to outstrip the capacity of current viewer implementations. All of the information available on the Museum’s collections pages is also included in the description of the object, plus access to all of the “alternate” images for the object, including different views of sculptures or the various digitized folios for manuscripts.


The viewer that appears when you click the IIIF icon is called Mirador. We chose Mirador because it allows comparison of multiple objects—a key scholarly use case—and will support annotation of the images when we add the infrastructure to manage the annotations created.

[Note: The digitized images from The Getty are not new online. The many useful features/enhancements that IIIF and Mirador viewer provide is what The Getty Museum is announcing today.]


This will work to compare objects within the Getty Museum collection, but also objects held by other institutions that enable IIIF functionality, such as the Yale Center for British Art. For example, you might want to compare Turner’s depiction of stormy seas in the Getty’s Van Tromp Going about to Please His Masters and with the Yale Center for British Art’s Stormy Sea Breaking on a Shore.


Next steps in our adoption are already under way, and focus on improving the consistency and functionality of our implementations across the organization. The Museum implementation of the IIIF Image API is sufficient to implement the core pan and zoom functionality, though it doesn’t currently support rotation, mirroring, or arbitrary regions. This will be supported in the future through the use of an image server developed by Princeton University, which will become a core infrastructure component providing access to content from across the programs. An implementation of a third IIIF API, one for coordinating authentication of users, is being developed to allow differentiation between anonymous requests, known scholars, on-site researchers and staff to allow as much access to the content as we are legally allowed to provide.

Learn More about Today’s Announcement,
Read the Complete Blog Post (Includes Steps to Compare Images Side-by-Side (via Getty Iris)

See Also: Getty News Release

Learn More About IIIF

See Also: Expansion Plans: International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) Hires First Staff Position (August 3, 2016)

See Also: New Revisions of the Image and Presentation APIs, First Version of Search API Released (May 12, 2016)

See Also: Europeana Aligns With International Image Interoperability Framework (February 25, 2016)

See Also: Internet Archive Introduces 9.3 Million Items Into the IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) Ecosystem (October 26, 2015)

Direct to IIIF Apps and Demos

Direct to List of IIIF Members and Participating Institutions

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.