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[NEW!]

July 1999

The Stanford Digital Library Technologies Project (SDLT) was initiated this month as part of the Federally funded Digital Library Initiative Phase 2. The goal of this Project is to design and implement the infrastructure and services needed for collaboratively creating, disseminating, sharing and managing information in a digital library context.
The Stanford Digital Library Technologies Project is one participant in the DLI2, Digital Library Initiative Phase II, started in 1999 and supported by the
National Science Foundation NSF Digital Libraries Initiative
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA Information Technology Office
National Library of Medicine NLM Extramural Programs
Library of Congress LOC Digital Library Initiatives
National Endowment for the HumanitiesNEH Digital Library Initiative
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA
Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI

The Stanford Digital Library Technologies Project was funded from three coordinated proposals, from The University of California at Berkeley UCB, the University of California at Santa Barbara UCSB, and Stanford University. One of our major goals is to demonstrate our technologies on the emerging California Digital Library, CDL and to implement and evaluate these technologies on a testbed system to be built with the help of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, SDSC. All three projects together yield a synergistic and comprehensive digital libraries project.

The Stanford component of this effort will develop the base technologies that are required to overcome the most critical barriers to effective digital libraries. One of these barriers is the heterogeneity of information and services. Another impediment is the lack of powerful filtering mechanisms that let users find truly valuable information. The continuous access to information is restricted by the unavailability of library interfaces and tools that effectively operate on portable devices. A fourth barrier is the lack of a solid economic infrastructure that encourages providers to make information available, and give users privacy guarantees. See the summary for more information.

In November 1998, we spent some time to look back at our efforts of our DLI1 research. These ruminations led to a publication and a presentation. Both are entitled: "Building the InfoBus. A Review of Technical Choices in the Stanford Digital Library". We talk about infrastructure decisions, about why USMARC in the end wasn't quite right for us, and about how deeply user traditions impacted the details of our technical designs.

Our collection in DLI1 was primarily computing literature. However, we also had a strong focus on networked information sources, meaning that the vast array of topics found on the World Wide Web are accessible through our project as well. At the heart of the DLI1 project is the testbed running the "InfoBus" protocol, which provides a uniform way to access a variety of services and information sources through "proxies" acting as interpreters between the InfoBus protocol and the native protocol. The InfoBus is implemented on top of a CORBA-based architecture using Inprise's Visibroker and Xerox's ILU.

With the InfoBus protocol running under the hood, a variety of user level applications provide powerful ways to find information, using cutting-edge user interfaces for direct manipulation or through Agent technology. A second area of focus for the Stanford Digital Library Project is the legal and economic issues of a networked environment.

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