Welcome to the IIIF collections of the Bavarian State Library (BSB)

The Bavarian State Library is offering a growing part of its digital collections in a modern way of access for the academic circle. It is based on the IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) Standard. IIIF is a joint development of worldwide GLAM institutions (galleries, libraries, archives and museums). Its objective is to facilitate free access to the world’s image repositories and data sharing of digitized cultural heritage between different institutions.

Users benefit from different advantages, for example the ability of comparing two or more different versions of a single manuscript (stored in different institutions all over the world) in one single, IIIF-compliant viewer application.

On this BSB-platform, you can view the accessible digitized objects via the IIIF APIs and with the Mirador Viewer, a sophisticated image viewer and scientific workspace fitted together. If you want to use another viewer (e.g. Universal Viewer ), you can drag and drop the "IIIF manifest" link information into any other IIIF-compliant viewer. The same works for IIIF manifests from other sources you might want to watch in our Mirador. Just search the IIIF logo and drag it into the Mirador. For a detailed instruction, see the video below.

If you are interested in the technical details of IIIF and/or want to use the provided APIs in your own applications, have a look at "for developers" in the last section.

In the following list you will find a short introduction to Mirador.

IIIF in general

? - What is in it for me?

Most of all I would like to
  • zoom deeply into pictures
  • manipulate them directly: e. g., change contrast and saturation or invert color
  • compare several objects side by side in a multi-up viewer, even better compare objects from different institutions (!)
  • integrate images or details of images in a website or a blog by only adding a URL

Wishful thinking? – By no means IIIF offers all this!

How does it work?

Drag and drop a IIIF manifest (often flagged with the IIIF icon ) into a IIIF viewer (e. g. our Mirador) and the object will appear. If you like you can add more objects in the same way and compare them (see here).

Using Mirador


The easiest way to use Mirador is by just viewing single digitized books. As can be seen in the video above, it is possible to use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out of the picture. You can also drag the image with the left mouse button to pan and scan. If you are using a mobile device, just use pinch and zoom and drag the image with your finger.

Additionally, you can flip through the pages, if you are viewing an object with multiple pages.

Mirador offers a number of views: by default, only a single image with the currently active page is displayed. There is also the possibility to view two pages ("book view"), a horizontally scrolling view of all pages and a gallery of thumbnails of all pages.

If you want to know more about a particular object you are viewing, you can use the metadata button in the top right of the screen to open a window with additional information. Many objects also offer a table of contents that can be used to navigate quickly between pages. If present, it can be enabled with the button in the top left corner.

Comparing works with Mirador

As already hinted at, you can use Mirador to display multiple works from different sources in a tiled screen with multiple windows.


Mirador allows you to make annotations and save them locally in your browser (saving is unfortunately not possible in the Internet Explorer). This feature can be reached via the annotations button in the top left corner of the screen.

Choose your favoured shape or draw it free-hand. A window, in which you can insert your annotations, will open after having completed the shape.

Manipulating Images

Another feature of Mirador is the possibility to apply various filters to the image, e.g. to increase the visibility of certain page elements. These are accessible through the image manipulation button in the upper left. These filters include: rotation in 90 degree steps, changing brightness, contrast and saturation, inverting colors and gray scaling the image.

Link for a selected region

If you want to determine a URL that leads to a specific region of the displayed image, this can be achieved with the image cropping tool. To activate the functionality, click the corresponding button on the left side of the screen.

To select the image region, the dashed rectangle, which is displayed on the image after activation, can be moved and changed in its dimensions.

As soon as you are satisfied with the selected region, you can click on the small icon above the rectangle to open a dialog window in which the link is displayed and can be copied to the clipboard. In addition, further options such as size, rotation and quality can be defined - the final result with the selected settings is dynamically updated in the preview section.

You can use the URL generated in this way, for example, in a CMS or to download the region.

For Developers

For interested developers, IIIF offers a variety of possibilities. All the interfaces described in the following provide their responses with the Access Control Allow-Origin: * header, making it possible to use provided data directly in client-side JavaScript applications.

Currently the Bavarian State Library provides the IIIF Presentation API and the IIIF Image API. The former one delivers so called manifests of digitized objects in JSON-LD format (e.g. https://api.digitale-sammlungen.de/iiif/presentation/v2/bsb00103155/manifest). Inside the manifests Image API endpoints for each facsimile image are referenced. Each image endpoint provides an info.json file (e.g. https://api.digitale-sammlungen.de/iiif/image/v2/bsb00103155_00013/info.json), providing information about the image, like the maximum available resolution. Further more a number of image manipulation steps are available, that are executed on our server farm, before the result is delivered to the client.

You can access the IIIF API endpoints of the Bavarian State Library at the following endpoints:

For more information about the format of manifests visit the official IIIF Presentation API specification. A detailed description of available image manipulation functionalities of the IIIF Image API also can be found in the corresponding official specification.

Visit us on Github. There you can find opensource IIIF software developed by the MDZ.