There are many uses of annotations they can be:

  • Transcribing documents either by hand or using automated methods like Transkribus for hand written material or OCR for printed works.
  • Created as part of a Crowdsourcing project
  • Created through research for example tagging common features in art works or identifying hand written annotations in a printed book
  • Created for teaching or explaining content.
  • A way of discussing content maybe in a classroom setting as an assignment

Annotations in IIIF follow the W3C annotation model and its precursor Open Annotations. I won't go into too much detail but the overall structure looks as follows:

Web Annotation model


  • The annotation contains links to the body and target and metadata like an ID and motivation (the reason for the annotation e.g. commenting, transcribing etc.)
  • The body is the content of the annotation for example a tag or the text of a line
  • The target is what the annotation is pointing to for example a page in a book or a region of an artwork.

As with a Manifest this is also encoded in JSON and you can see an example below:

    "id": "http://localhost:8887/coin/list/1",
    "type": "Annotation",
    "motivation": "commenting",
    "body": {
        "type": "TextualBody",
        "format": "text/plain",
        "chars": "Zeus seated on stool-throne"
    "target": "http://localhost:8887/coin/canvas#xywh=3706,208,522,522"

For the following image:

Coin image

The other terminology we may come across is an Annotation List or Annotation Page in IIIF 3.0. These are as you might expect are a list of annotations and are generally at a page level.

results matching ""

    No results matching ""