Digital Manuscripts Toolkit

The journey so far...

Monica Messaggi Kaya


About me

Javascript / Front-end developer


Bodleian Libraries
University of Oxford

What is DMT?

Easy to use toolkit


focus on the study and presentation of medieval manuscripts, working with digital materials in innovative and exciting ways


Project blog at 


Content is available through a great many different viewers, websites, and approaches. 

Varied levels of quality, functionality and ease of access, and to lots of duplicated effort


Use, develop, and repurpose digital manuscripts


and other cultural heritage materials


International Image Interoperability Framework

Two Linked Data-based APIs - an Image API and a Presentation API - to allow reuse of content, creating a global network whereby institutions can share materials and allow innovative development.

Deploy an image server that supports the IIIF Image API

Steps to work with IIIF

Publish metadata about your image-based objects that complies to IIIF Presentation API

Deploy and integrate software that allows you to discover and display IIIF-compliant image resources

The IIIF Image API URI for requesting an image must conform to the following URI Template:



For example:

Digital images are a container for much of the information content in the Web-based delivery of “stuff” *.

IIIF Presentation API

* museum objects, books, newspapers, letters, manuscripts, maps, scrolls, single sheet collections, and digital surrogates of textiles, realia and ephemera.

Each manifest must, and is very likely to, have one sequence, but may have more than one. 

Primary Resources

Each sequence must have at least one canvas and is likely to have more than one. 

Each canvas should have one or more content resources associated with it. 

Zero is possible but unlikely; it represents the case where the page exists (or existed) but has not been digitized.

Descriptive Properties

A human readable label, name or title for the resource. 
A list of short descriptive entries, given as pairs of human readable label and value to be displayed to the user. 

A small image that depicts or pictorially represents the resource that the property is attached to.

Presentation Resource Properties

Rights and Licensing Properties

A human readable label that must be displayed when the resource it is associated with is displayed or used. 

A small image that represents an individual or organization associated with the resource it is attached to.

A link to an external resource that describes the license or rights statement under which the resource is being used. 

Presentation Resource Properties

Technical Properties

@id  - @type - Height - viewingDirection – viewingHint

Linking Properties

Related – service – seeAlso – within – startCanvas

Presentation Resource Properties

Using JSON for linking data (JSON-LD) to organise and connect


Json - ease of developement
Linked data - play nice with others


  // Metadata about this manifest file

  // Descriptive metadata about the object/work
  "label": "Book 1",
  "metadata": [
    {"label":"Author", "value":"Anne Author"},
    {"label":"Published", "value": [
        {"@value": "Paris, circa 1400", "@language":"en"},
        {"@value": "Paris, environ 1400", "@language":"fr"}
     "value": "<span>From: <a href=\"\">Some Collection</a></span>"}
  "description":"A longer description of this example book. It should give some real information.",
  "thumbnail": {
    "@id": ",100/0/default.jpg",
    "service": {

  // Presentation Information
  "viewingDirection": "right-to-left",
  "viewingHint": "paged",

  // Rights Information
  "attribution":"Provided by Example Organization",
  "logo": "",

  // Links
    "@id": "",
    "format": "video/mpeg"
  "service": {
    "@context": "",
    "@id": "",
    "profile": ""

  // List of sequences
  "sequences" : [
        "label":"Current Page Order"
        // sequence's page order should be included here, see below...
      // Any additional sequences can be referenced here...

Image server - deliver easily installable versions of IIP and Loris 

(probably via Docker images)

DMT progress

Metadata IIIF compliance 


via Manifest Factory (python)

DMT progress

Discovery:  Digital Mushaf project


This reunites an early Qur’anic manuscript which had been split and dispersed and is now held by four institutions: Bodleian (UK), Wolfenbuttel (Germany), Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), and the BnF (Paris)

DMT progress

Display IIIF-compliant image resources 


Using Mirador on the Mushaf pilot project

Another example: UniversalViewer - demo Arch. G b.6

DMT progress

Research of existing tools and libraries


To name a few: Grunt, Node.js, jQuery, Karma, underscore.js, pubsub.js, handlebars.js, URI.js, mousetrap.js, ZeroClipboard.js, d3.js, state-machine.js, tinymce.js, qTip2, sinon.js, Jasmine, Istanbul, Travis and more.

DMT progress

DMT progress

UI mockup for Manifest editor


Authoring tool easy to use, drag and drop features, editing labels (without *having to type* json) 

DMT progress

Few tests


Using JSON Editor as base 


Now using Manifesto 

DMT progress



Amazing use-cases 

Anglo-Norman Apocalypse Manuscripts held in the Bodleian Library


Dr Daron Burrows
Associate Professor of Medieval French
Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

The Apocalypse in Oxford

MS Bodley 401



Alex Franklin & Daniel Sawyer
D.Phil. Candidates in medieval English
Faculty of English Language & Literature

Rolling History 

MS Barlow 53, membrane 1, medallion 3



Jennifer Shurville
D.Phil. Candidate
History of Art Department

The Rota Dominice orationis

Vercelli, ACVC, fp, 'Rota Dominice orationis'. 

Image courtesy of Fondazione Museo del Tesoro del

Duomo e Archivio Capitolare di Vercelli.

Armenian Codicology and Palaeography


Dr Emilio Bonfiglio
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Faculty of Oriental Studies


Robin Meyer
Armenian Exhibition Curator
D. Phil. Candidate, Faculty of Linguistics

Digital Teaching Tools

Image courtesy of R. Meyer & E. Bonfiglio

Stanford, Harvard and Yale in the USA

Bibliothèque nationale de France and C2RMF in Europe

British Library and the Wellcome Library in the UK.



"Life happens"

Special thanks:

Judith Siefring – DMT use-cases
Matt McGrattan – DMT/IIIF and server info
Rob Sanderson – IIIF slides


Pictures (via Unsplash)

Challenge by Nicolai Traasdahl Tarp 
Storm by Frantzou Fleurine

Viewer by Rohit Padmanabhan

Squirrel by Good Free Photos
Before you think out of the box (via Lastlemon)


Thank you!

Digital Manuscripts Toolkit

By Monica Messaggi Kaya

Digital Manuscripts Toolkit

Toolkit using IIIF standard ( for images, a server solution (to store images of manuscripts and metadata), and a client solution using JavaScript to build an authoring tool that allows editing the manuscript manifest and its metadata.

  • 1,663
Loading comments...

More from Monica Messaggi Kaya