digiratijohn edited this page Mar 15, 2017 · 15 revisions

The UV started life in 2012 as the Wellcome Player, developed by Digirati for the Wellcome Library's digitisation programme alongside their Digital Delivery System.

In a pattern repeated many times across Cultural Heritage institutions, the Player used a custom package format that supported OpenSeadragon DZI, mp3, mp4, and PDF assets.

The Player was then generously open sourced on Github by the Wellcome Library.

Then along came IIIF.

In 2014 Digirati were asked by the British Library to produce a proof of concept with the Wellcome Player consuming IIIF manifests.

Shortly afterwards Digirati were engaged to produce the Universal Viewer, an application designed to replace multiple non-interoperable existing viewers on British Library web sites, with an initial focus on books and manuscripts.

This project added many new features, including:

  • "Two-up" mode
  • The settings dialogue
  • The "full expand" thumbs menu
  • An automated test suite
  • Right-to-left and top-to-bottom manifests support
  • An acknowledgements overlay box
  • The configuration editor
  • Accessibility enhancements

Then the National Library of Wales sponsored development of the following features:

The Universal Viewer has now replaced the original Wellcome Player at the Wellcome Library, where all digitised material is available as IIIF.

A community has grown around the Universal Viewer. We're really excited to see what comes next! There is an active Slack channel and a community call every two weeks.

Development of new features continues with increasing numbers of contributions from the Universal Viewer's user community, as well as major new features currently being developed for the British Library's use cases.

You can see the Universal Viewer displaying different types of content from multiple institutions on the examples site.