British Library: Digirati to Deliver ‘Universal Player’

Since June 2013 the British Library has been looking to deliver a ‘universal player’ that can render digital content stored in their Digital Library System and described in any of their strategic metadata repositories, suitable for use by researchers, learners and the public. The aim is to create a consolidated infrastructure with an enriched and consistent user experience that replaces all of the disparate viewers/players provided by the British Library on its website and in its reading room and online services.

Following a requirements gathering and analysis exercise the British Library concluded that the ‘Wellcome Player’ (developed by Digirati on behalf of the Wellcome Library) was the viewer most likely to meet their requirements for their diverse audiences. 

Consequently Digirati were commissioned to investigate the technical feasibility of deploying the Wellcome Player within the British Library’s web and digital library infrastructure, with a preliminary focus on delivering to the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) standard. IIIF is an interoperable technology and community framework for image delivery being led by world-leading cultural and research institutions, including the British Library and Stanford University. For more information on IIIF see

The British Library & St Pancras

The Player was successfully deployed as a proof-of-concept using digitised still images of books and manuscripts held within the British Library’s Digital Library System and metadata from its strategic metadata stores. Digirati have now been appointed to build on the proof-of-concept work and develop the ‘universal player’ for content provided through the British Library’s website for a range of exciting content including printed books, manuscripts, maps and digitised images stored in the British Library’s Digital Library system. This will deliver many additional enhancements to the Wellcome Player and be IIIF2.0 compliant. The code will be open source and freely available for all to develop further. Next year the British Library hopes to extend the player to its audio and video collections and a greater range of printed material such as digitised newspapers.

Lucie Burgess, Head of Online Services at the British Library said: “‘We are delighted to be working with Digirati, an innovative company with a talented and multi-disciplinary team. The ‘universal player’ is a key component of the digital infrastructure which will deliver rich digital content to our users, including researchers, the public and learners. Digirati impressed us with their ability to understand diverse audience needs and develop a solution which will create an outstanding experience for our users on the web.”

We’re really excited to be working with the British Library on what we hope to be the first of many IIIF implementations as adoption of this standard gains momentum across the digital library community and the fantastic potential it enables for learning and research starts to be realised

– John Baker, Managing Director of Digirati

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website –– every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

[columns_row width=”half”][column]

digirati_logo[/column][column]Digirati is a digital consultancy that provides strategy, design, integration, and engineering services to public and private sector clients for online publishing and customer engagement solutions. Digirati’s reputation is built upon solid technical delivery of well-architected innovative digital systems that provide exceptional user experiences.[/column][/columns_row]

  1. Digirati corporate website 
  2. The British Library
  3. Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) standard
Related Posts
Read More

Does Blackberry’s open letter have a return address?

Tomorrow, Blackberry will release a letter to media outletss worldwide. When I got news of this tonight, I stumbled mentally for a moment. I thought it reminiscent of the "There is life after Apple" Chiat/Day letter from Steve Jobs in the Wall Street Journal 25 years ago. For a minute I allowed techno-romance to gnaw at me, but only for a minute. Tomorrow's open missal from Blackberry reminds me more of a fake letter that appeared in Chinese newspaper, The Southern Metropolis Daily a couple of months ago, and then found it's way around China via the micro-blogging Weibo.
Read More

Mavshack VOD teams up with myPhone in Philippines, the video on-demand streaming company has agreed a partnership with MyPhone, the leading distributor of phones in the Philippines. Mavshack is a leader  in streaming local content to global populations and Mavshack Philippines is the first of several content channels being delivered worldwide.  Mavshack operate a multi-platform service similar to Netflix in the Philippines, costing around 210 Philippine Pesos, the equivalent of five dollars per month.
Read More

NASA Game Changing 3D Printing success really matters

Last night I tweeted a link to the Press Release from NASA regarding their success with  testing a rocket engine injector made through additive manufacturing, or as we say these days,  3D printing. What surprised me was the reaction I got via re-Tweets, messages and people just saying 'wow!'. I think what caught people's attention was the potential highlighted by the success in NASA's test, the potential for manufacturing and for business.
Read More

Social Media: quality always tops quantity

In recent years I have had the privilege to speak at a number of different events on Social Media. Typically the area of greatest interest has always been Facebook. The same question always pops up during the Q&A part - “I don’t have a budget for Facebook, how do I get to 100,000 fans?” To be fair, there is not one answer to this question for every industry but I will try to give you an answer that should set you on the right path.

Subscribe for the free weekly newsletter with the latest reviews and any current offers.