May 24, 2022

Victoria and Albert Museum Brings Leonardo Da Vinci’s Notebooks To Life Online, Resource Uses IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework)

From The Art Newspaper:

Scholars and digital experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London have posted online the contents of two notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci, enabling devotees of the Renaissance polymath to zoom in and examine his revolutionary ideas and concepts.

Codex Forster I is made of two notebooks which were bound into one volume after Leonardo’s death. Codex Forster I contains both the earliest (from folio 41, around 1487-90, Milan) and the latest notebooks (up to folio 40, 1505, Florence) that the V&A possessesThese notebooks are named after John Forster, who bequeathed them to the museum, along with his library, in 1876.

The V&A has three other notebooks, bound in two volumes, which are called Codex Forster II and III. “We are planning to make these two other volumes also fully accessible online in 2019 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death,” says Catherine Yvard, Special Collections curator at the V&A’s National Art Library.


On the technical front, the use of IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) to present a digital version of the notebooks is an innovation. “It’s our use of the IIIF standard that has enabled us to present the codex in a new way.

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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.