Thursday, December 30, 2021

Antenati's New Site Design - is it Actually Better?

Not too long ago, the Italian Archives website, Antenati, or "Ancestors Portal" got a face lift. At first, everyone raved about what an improvement it was, and admittedly, the ability to find and navigate to the records you're looking for has been a great improvement. Unfortunately, it has come at the cost of the Archives no longer supplying an inherent way to download full resolution images, which means we can't save copies of the records for our personal reference. We can take a screenshot, but to get the whole document, it will be too small to read. And if we zoom in to take a screenshot, we won't get the full document.

There is a way around this - but it's basically a hack, and who knows if it will remain available forever. It's also complicated and includes several steps involving the html code. But if you're brave enough, here's how to do it:

Step 1: Navigate to the image you wish to download, and click the icon with 3 horizontal lines located in the upper left corner of the image viewer window (see screenshot below, the icon is highlighted in yellow, click to enlarge).

Step 2: This will bring up a side bar on the left with information. Note the page number listed here (highlighted in yellow in screenshot below), because you'll need that later.

Step 3: Scroll down the side bar to the bottom where you'll see a link just below where it says "IIIF manifest". Click the link (highlighted in yellow in the screenshot below).

Step 4: Here's where it gets tricky. The link opens a page with a bunch of html coding. Different browsers seem to display it differently - if you're lucky, it will be organized with nested lines and different colors, making it easier to find what you're looking for, and the URLs will be clickable links. If you're unlucky like me, you'll see a big long block of text/coding with no links, no colors (shown below). What you're look for first is the page number you took note of in step 2. In the code, it will say "label":"pag. 31" (or whichever page number you're looking for). If you're having trouble finding it, you can use your browser's "Find" or "Find in Page" option to search for it (the screenshot below shows the page number 31 highlighted because I searched for it).

Step 5: Look just above your page number in the code for a URL that looks like this: (URL is highlighted in grey and shows relation to the page number in the screenshot below) - the part that says "wrZgxjz" in my URL will be different for you. That's okay, that's what you want. That's the specific image code you're looking for. Copy and paste the whole URL (or click on it if it's clickable) into a new browser tab.

Step 6: If you're unlucky like me and the URL you copied and pasted includes duplicate slashes so you're getting a "Page not found" result, remove the duplicate slashes. The URL should look like this:, not like this: https:\/\/\/iiif\/2\/wrZgxjz\/full\/full\/0\/default.jpg or like this: If it's annoying to delete all those extra slashes every time, you can always just bookmark the proper URL and then just copy and paste the image code into the URL.

Step 7: Once you get the correct image to load, you can right click it and save the full resolution image.

Although the new site might be faster and easier to navigate, the inability to save crucial documents (which you'd think was the entire purpose of the site) is a huge step backwards. This hack is cumbersome, but for now, it's the only option. Good luck.

1 comment:

  1. You can go to: a new method to download.