How to Build a Digital Library

How to Build a Digital Library

2nd Edition - October 7, 2009

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  • Authors: Ian Witten, David Bainbridge, David Nichols
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123748577
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080890395

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How to Build a Digital Library reviews knowledge and tools to construct and maintain a digital library, regardless of the size or purpose. A resource for individuals, agencies, and institutions wishing to put this powerful tool to work in their burgeoning information treasuries. The Second Edition reflects developments in the field as well as in the Greenstone Digital Library open source software. In Part I, the authors have added an entire new chapter on user groups, user support, collaborative browsing, user contributions, and so on. There is also new material on content-based queries, map-based queries, cross-media queries. There is an increased emphasis placed on multimedia by adding a "digitizing" section to each major media type. A new chapter has also been added on "internationalization,"  which will address Unicode standards, multi-language interfaces and collections, and issues with non-European languages (Chinese, Hindi, etc.). Part II, the software tools section, has been completely rewritten to reflect the new developments in Greenstone Digital Library Software, an internationally popular open source software tool with a comprehensive graphical facility for creating and maintaining digital libraries.

Key Features

  • Outlines the history of libraries on both traditional and digital
  • Written for both technical and non-technical audiences and covers the entire spectrum of media, including text, images, audio, video, and related XML standards
  • Web-enhanced with software documentation, color illustrations, full-text index, source code, and more


Librarians, digital librarians, metadata librarians, special collections librarians, institutional repository managers, publications managers, documentation managers, library IT support personnel, and Library and Information Science faculty/students.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1 Principles and Practices

    Chapter 1 Orientation: The world of digital libraries

    Example One: Supporting Human Development

    Example Two: Pushing on the Frontiers of Science

    Example Three: Preserving a Traditional Culture

    Example Four: Exploring Popular Music

    1.1 Libraries and Digital Libraries

    1.2 The Changing Face of Libraries

    1.3 Searching for Sophocles

    1.4 Digital Libraries in Developing Countries  

    1.5 The Pen is Mighty: Wield it Wisely

    1.6 Planning a Digital Library

    1.7 Implementing a Digital library: The Greenstone Software

    1.8 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 2 People in Digital Libraries

    2.1 Roles  

    2.2 Identity

    2.3 Help and User Support Services

    2.4 Working with Digital Collections

    2.5 User Contributions

    2.6 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 3 Presentation: User Interfaces

    3.1 Presenting Textual Documents

    3.2 Presenting Multimedia Documents

    3.3 Document Surrogates

    3.4 Searching

    3.5 Metadata Browsing

    3.6 Putting It All Together

    3.7 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 4 Textual documents: The raw material

    4.1 Representing Textual Documents

    4.2 Textual Images

    4.3 Web Documents: HTML and XML

    4.4 Presenting Web Documents: CSS and XSL

    4.5 Page Description Languages: PostScript and PDF

    4.6 Word-Processor Documents

    4.7 Other Documents

    4.8 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 5 Multimedia: More raw material

    5.1 Introducing Compression and Transforms

    5.2 Audio

    5.3 Images

    5.4 Video

    5.5 Rich media

    5.6 Music

    5.7 Notes and sources

    Chapter 6 Metadata: Elements of organization

    6.1 Characteristics of Metadata

    6.2 Bibliographic Metadata

    6.3 Metadata for Multimedia

    6.4 Metadata for Compound Objects

    6.5 Metadata Quality

    6.6 Extracting Metadata

    6.7 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 7 Interoperability: Protocols and services

    7.1 Z39.50 Protocol

    7.2 Open Archives Initiative

    7.3 Object Identification

    7.4 Web Services

    7.5 Authentication and security

    7.6 DSpace and Fedora

    7.7 Notes and sources

    Chapter 8 Internationalization: The global challenge

    8.1 Multilingual Interfaces and Documents

    8.2 Unicode

    8.3 Hindi and Indic scripts

    8.4 Word Segmentation and Sorting

    8.5 Notes and Sources

    Chapter 9 Visions: Future, past, and present

    9.1 Libraries of the Future

    9.2 Preserving the Past

    9.3 Trends in Digital Libraries

    9.4 Digital Libraries for Oral Cultures

    9.5 Notes and Sources


    Chapter 10 Building collections

    10.1 The Reader’s Interface

    10.2 The Librarian Interface

    10.3 Working with Documents

    10.4 Formatting

    10.5 Dealing with Metadata

    10.6 Non-Textual Documents

    10.7 Learning More

    Chapter 11 Operating and interoperating

    11.1 Inside Greenstone

    11.2 Operational Aspects

    11.3 Command-Line Operation

    11.4 Under the Hood *

    11.5 Interoperating

    11.6 Distributed Operation

    11.7 Large-Scale Usage

    Chapter 12 Design patterns for advanced user interfaces

    12.1 Format Statements and Macros

    12.2 Design Patterns

    12.3 The Greenstone Research Project



Product details

  • No. of pages: 656
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2009
  • Published: October 7, 2009
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123748577
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080890395

About the Authors

Ian Witten

Ian H. Witten is a professor of computer science at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He directs the New Zealand Digital Library research project. His research interests include information retrieval, machine learning, text compression, and programming by demonstration. He received an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University, England; an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, Canada; and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Essex University, England. He is a fellow of the ACM and of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has published widely on digital libraries, machine learning, text compression, hypertext, speech synthesis and signal processing, and computer typography.

Affiliations and Expertise

Computer Science Department, University of Waikato, New Zealand

David Bainbridge

David Bainbridge is a senior lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He holds a PhD in Optical Music Recognition from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand where he studied as a Commonwealth Scholar. Since moving to Waikato in 1996 he has continued to broadened his interest in digital media, while retaining a particular emphasis on music. An active member of the New Zealand Digital Library project, he manages the group's digital music library, Meldex, and has collaborated with several United Nations Agencies, the BBC and various public libraries. David has also worked as a research engineer for Thorn EMI in the area of photo-realistic imaging and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1991 as the class medalist in Computer Science.

David Nichols

Is a senior lecturer, specializes in the areas of human-computer interaction, open source software and digital library education.

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