Contribute to the DSpace Development Fund

The newly established DSpace Development Fund supports the development of new features prioritized by DSpace Governance. For a list of planned features see the fund wiki page.


Supported in 7.1 or above

IIIF support was first added to DSpace in version 7.1.  It was not available in 7.0 or below.

DSpace supports the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The DSpace REST API implements the IIIF Presentation API version 2.1.1, IIIF Image API version 2.1.1, and the IIIF Search API version 1.0 (experimental). The DSpace Angular frontend uses the Mirador 3.0 viewer.

Administrators can configure IIIF behavior at the Collection, Item, Bundle and Bitstream levels using metadata. To support additional sharing, viewing, comparing, and annotating, DSpace can be configured to share IIIF metadata with external IIIF clients (see CORS Configuration). IIIF REST endpoints implement the same security protocol as the primary REST API so that DSpace authorization policies are enforced for IIIF access as well.

IIIF Image Server

Running IIIF in production requires an IIIF-compatible image server. You are free to use any compatible image server you choose. However, instructions for configuring the Cantaloupe Image Server are included below. A preconfigured Cantaloupe image server can be started via docker-compose to simplify evaluation and testing. 

Format Support

Currently, DSpace only supports IIIF viewing of Image formats (any format whose MIME type starts with "image/*").  For example, PDF viewing is not currently supported.

Enable IIIF Support on Backend

DSpace IIIF support is not enabled by default. To enable IIIF, you first need to install a IIIF Image Server, and then update your DSpace configuration as described below.

Install a IIIF Image Server

The Cantaloupe Image Server is currently recommended for use with DSpace, but you are free to use the image server of your choice. A list of IIIF-compliant image servers is maintained by the IIIF community.

Here is a brief overview of how the IIIF image server works with DSpace.

First, the base path to the image server is defined in config/modules/iiif.cfg.  

iiif.image.server =

Given this configuration, the IIIF manifest returned by the DSpace backend will include an image resource annotation like the following:

IIIF Image Resource Annotation
resource: {
	@id: "",
	@type: "dctypes:Image",
	service: {
		@context: "",
		@id: "",
		profile: "",
		protocol: ""
	format: "image/jp2"

The Mirador viewer (see below) uses this annotation to communicate with the image server using the IIIF Image API.

Finally, notice that the image server needs to retrieve the requested bitstream from DSpace. There are a number of ways to do this and the details vary with the image server chosen. The easiest approach is for the image server to request the bitstream via HTTP and the DSpace API, e.g.:


Installing and Configuring Cantaloupe

The Cantaloupe getting started page provides installation instructions. The basic installation process is simple.

The simplest way to configure Cantaloupe to retrieve images from DSpace is to use HTTPSource with the following configuration.

HttpSource.BasicLookupStrategy.url_prefix = <dspace-url>/server/api/core/bitstreams/
HttpSource.BasicLookupStrategy.url_suffix = /content

Required IIIF Configuration

To enable IIIF, edit config/modules/iiif.cfg or your local.cfg file and set iiif.enabled to be "true".

iiif.enabled = true

In addition, you need to provide the URL for your newly installed IIIF image server. e.g.:

iiif.image.server = http://localhost:8182/iiif/2/

Finally, update dspace.cfg or your local.cfg file by adding "iiif" to the default event dispatcher, as shown below:

event.dispatcher.default.consumers = versioning, discovery, eperson, iiif

With these changes in place, DSpace will be ready to respond to IIIF requests.  Restart your DSpace backend (i.e. Tomcat) for these changes to all take effect.

Additional Configuration Options

The full set if IIIF configuration options can be found in config/modules/iiif.cfg

iiif.enabledEnables the DSpace IIIF service.
iiif.image.serverBase URL path for the IIIF image server. e.g. http://localhost:8182/iiif/2/
iiif.document.viewing.hintDefault viewing hint. Can be overridden with the metadata setting described below.


Optional URL for a small image. This will be included in all IIIF manifests.

iiif.cors.allowed-originsComma separated list of allowed CORS origins. The list must include the default value:  ${dspace.ui.url}.
iiif.metadata.itemSets the Dublin Core metadata that will be added to the IIIF resource manifest. This property can be repeated.
iiif.metadata.bitstreamSets the Bitstream metadata that will be added to the IIIF canvas metadata for individual images. This property can be repeated.

Sets the metadata used for information about the resource usage rights.


The text to use as attribution in the iiif manifests. Defaults to:  ${}


Either "individuals", "paged" or "continuous". Can be overridden with the metadata setting described below.


Default value for the canvas size. Can be overridden at the item, bundle or bitstream level.


Default value for the canvas size. Can be overridden at the item, bundle or bitstream level.

Canvas Dimensions

As of 7.2, the canvas dimension options (iiif.canvas.default-width and iiif.canvas.default-height) are updated with additional behaviors.

  • If you do not provide your own default dimensions in iiif.cfg, DSpace will attempt to optimize canvas dimensions when dimension metadata is missing from the first bitstream in the item. This will often produce more accurate viewer layouts, but note that it is not sufficient to assure accurate layouts in all cases. 
  • If you decide to add your own default dimensions in iiif.cfg file your dimensions are used for every bitstream that lacks dimension metadata.
  • You may also set both default dimensions in iiif.cfg to the value -1. In this case, DSpace creates accurate default dimensions for every bitstream that lacks dimension metadata. Note that this impacts performance.

It is recommended that iiif.image.width and iiif.image.height metadata be added to Item, Bundle, or Bitstream metadata to assure accurate layout and top performance. Default dimension configurations are intended to improve the user experience when dimension metadata has not yet been added.

CORS Configuration

The wildcard "*" configuration is the default CORS setting for IIIF. With this setting, all remote viewers and applications can retrieve manifests, assuring maximum interoperability. You can restrict CORS origins using the iiif.cors.allowed-origins property defined in iiif.cfg. Remove the wildcard and add a comma-separated list of origins instead.


DSpace includes a plugin to support the IIIF Search API. This plugin is designed to work specifically with the Solr OCR Highlighting Plugin and METS/ALTO data. You are welcome to experiment with the plugin. To do so,uncomment the following settings in config/modules/iiif.cfg: = ${solr.server}/word_highlighting =

Once you have successfully indexed ALTO files using the Solr plugin, you can enable search within a DSpace Item by adding the metadata field. 

Indexing Support

Support for indexing OCR files using the the Solr OCR Highlighting Plugin or other services is not currently provided by DSpace. Institutions will need to develop their own approach to indexing their data. 

Enable/Install the Mirador Viewer on Frontend

The Mirador 3.0 viewer is included in the dspace-angular (UI) source code.  Before enabling Mirador, be sure to review the instructions for installing the Angular frontend if you haven't already.

To add the  Mirador viewer to your DSpace frontend installation, run the following command:

# This builds and runs the DSpace UI with the Mirador Viewer in a single step
yarn run start:mirador:prod

This will build and copy Mirador to your dist/ directory and start the frontend server.

The actual steps for deploying the Angular UI with Mirador into Production will likely vary with your setup. However, one possible command-line scenario is the following:

# Build Mirador viewer
yarn run build:mirador
# Build DSpace UI for production
yarn run build:prod
# Run the DSpace UI with Mirador viewer
yarn run serve:ssr

Running in Development

In the Dspace 7.1 release, the Mirador viewer cannot be used when running in development mode. For now, you need to use a production build.

Configuring Mirador

The Mirador viewer is highly configurable. The Mirador configuration file for DSpace includes a number of settings that you can override manually, including CSS values for styling. Note that some of the Mirador behavior (like the inclusion of thumbnail navigation on the right) is set by the Angular component at runtime. You can choose to override these runtime settings if you like. 

Configure IIIF viewer via Metadata Fields

IIIF configuration at the Item-level is quite flexible and is managed using metadata. Canvas sizes, image labels, ranges and and other settings are controlled by using the following fields.

Required Field

Note that the dspace.iiif.enabled metadata field MUST be added to the Item and set to "true". Otherwise, the Item display will use the default DSpace view.


Stores a boolean text value (true or false) to indicate if the iiif feature is enabled or not
for the dspace object. If absent the value is derived from the parent dspace object.


Metadata field used to set the IIIF label associated with the canvas resource otherwise the system
will derive one according to the configuration setting or the canvas.naming metadata field.


Metadata field used to set the IIIF description associated with the resource.


Metadata field used to set the base label used to name all the canvas in the Item. The canvas
label will be generated using the value of this metadata as prefix and the canvas position.
e.g. Page 1, Page 2, etc.

iiifviewing hintItem

Metadata field used to set the viewing hint overriding the configuration value if any. Possible
values are "individuals" and "paged". Default value: individuals.

iiifimagewidthItem, Bundle, or Bitstream

Metadata field used to store the width of an image in pixels. Determines the canvas size.

iiif imageheightItem, Bundle, or Bitstream

Metadata field used to store the height of an image in pixels. Determines the canvas size.


Metadata field used to set the position of the iiif resource in the "table of contents" structure.



Metadata field used to enable the IIIF Search service at the item level. This feature is
experimental and requires additional setup.

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