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                                                                      Digital Libraries

                                                      Chapter 1

                                    Introduction to Digital Library

                   1.  Introduction

                   The computerization of  the library during past few decades have  focused heavily  on
                   creation of surrogate records of printed documents available in a library or for providing
                   computerized  services through secondary databases held locally on  CD ROM or
                   magnetic tapes.  The  scope and functions of  integrated  library packages,  till recently,
                   were essentially restricted to providing access to documents at bibliographic level. The
                   new versions of, integrated library packages, however, tend to provide additional features
                   and functionalities akeen to digital libraries.  Similarly, secondary  information  systems
                   such as  MEDLINE, INSPEC, COMPENDEX+ and CAS were essentially designed to
                   serve as an effective tools for bibliographic control of research information. However,
                   since these databases provide  only bibliographic information on research articles, users
                   had to depend heavily on physical collection available either in their institutional library
                   or on inter-library loan from other libraries for references retrieved from the secondary
                   services.  Several  attempts were made in past to make the full-text of research articles
                   available through online search services, although technology  available till late 1980s
                   and early 1990s supported only  simple text (ASCII) without  graphics.  As such, more
                   than 1,700 full-text journals were available through online search services like DIALOG
                   and STN uptill 1989 although as simple text without graphics.  Tools, techniques and
                   protocols necessary  for building-up digital libraries evolved with  availability of
                   computing power that  allow parallel processing,  multitasking,  parallel consultation,
                   parallel knowledge navigation and software tools that facilitate artificial intelligence and
                   interactivity.  Coincided with  availability of  software, hardware and  networking
                   technology, the advent of world wide web (WWW), its ever increasing usage and highly
                   evolved browsers have paved the way for  creation of digital libraries.  With  rapid
                   developments in technologies necessary  for developing digital libraries, the world of
                   digital information resources has expanded quickly and exponentially. Increasing number
                   of commercial and society publishers are using the Internet as a global way to offer their
                   publications to the international community of scientists and technologists. Resultantly,
                   increasingly large numbers of STM (Science, Technology  and  Medical) electronic
                   journals are appearing on the web.  Digital information resources include not only rapidly
                   growing collections of electronic full text resources, but also images, video, sound, and
                   even object of virtual reality.

                   The most significant shift is  in  building digital collections is greater interoperability
                   among information systems across the  networks.  With the technology  available at an
                   effordable cost, the libraries are initiating small digitization projects as individual library
                   or as a  group of libraries. Building-up digital  collection and infrastructure required to
                   access them is a challenge that  every library has to deal with. Today’s digital libraries
                   are built around Internet and web technologies with electronic journals as their building
                   blocks.  The increasing popularity of Internet and developments in web technologies are


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