DLF Summer 1999 Forum on Digital Library Practices: Description
In July 1999, the Digital Library Federation (DLF) inaugurated
a series of semi-annual forums conceived to foster formal and
informal opportunities for exchange among peers constructing
digital libraries. With a focus alternating between technical and
organizational issues, the forums will address challenges in
digital library management and practice.
Digital library practitioners from DLF member
institutions spent the weekend of July 17 & 18 engaged in presentations and discussion of the
following topics (see agenda):
What systems have evolved for storing, indexing, and
delivering EAD encoded finding aids at local institutions? This
discussion will include SGML/XML tools for validation and
indexing, delivery in SGML/XML vs. HTML, and how to link finding
aids to other things such as digital versions
of the collections they describe.
- Authentication and authorization systems
What systems will provide user verification and determination
of user certification for access to licensed, proprietary, or
sensitive information? The development of such systems needs to
evolve with consideration for design simplicity, user privacy and
trust among involved parties. Examples of these might include
proxy servers or digital certificates.
What systems will be developed for secure storage and delivery
of digital objects of all kinds, including administrative
metadata to perform digital collection management over time and
structural metadata for complex objects as appropriate?
Discussion of issues of underlying database technologies
(relational vs. object), hierarchical storage management systems
for archival objects, and security will be included.
Persistent naming systems allow an object referenced on the
Internet to be named independently of the object's actual
location; such a location is given by a conventional URL, for
example. Persistent naming systems obviate the need to change all
references to an object's actual location when the object moves
physically, for example, from one part of a World Wide Web site
to another part of the same site, or from one machine to another.
What are the naming systems currently under development and what
are the challenges presented in this development?
- Page image navigation systems
How should systems that allow the navigation of a digital
information object that, while one package intellectually,
physically consists of multiple digital objects be designed? An
example would be a digital book created by scanning a physical
book page-by-page. The navigation system would provide the means
for moving from a title page, to a table of contents, to other
"milestones" such as chapter headings, lists of illustrations, or
indexes, as well as page to page, backward and forward, and to
any specified page in the document. A page-turning mechanism may
itself be part of a larger system that points to a collection of
similarly navigable objects, a collection of digital books, for
By providing a venue for sharing knowledge, supplementing
experience and identifying new issues, DLF believes that these
forums will advance the development of digital libraries by
helping practitioners to identify collaborators who can together
build systems that facilitate interoperability.
For further information, please consult the following
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