Have the viewer include an image zoom like the BHL site
Having the ability to zoom in the item's page to make it more readable would be nice. You might need a slightly wider view for that as it would be nice to have the whole page fit horizontally, but still be easily readable. Would be nice, though, to keep it within the clean design you've created.
Yes, absolutely need something like this. For now I just open the image in a new window if I need to look at it. One option would be a lightbox-style approach (I already use this to look at Reference Finder search results). I do like the idea of keeping the image within the bounds of the current viewer.