random library quotation Link: Publications Forum Link: About DLF Link: News
Link: Digital Collections Link: Digital Production Link: Digital Preservation Link: Use, users, and user support Link: Build: Digital Library Architectures, Systems, and Tools
photo of books




Please send the DLF Executive Director your comments or suggestions.

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):

  • Finding aids

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.

  • Digital repositories

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.

  • Naming systems

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 example.

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 pages:

return to top >>