Z652 Assignment: Review of a digital library project
You will review an existing digital library and present the results of your review as a 1500–2000 word illustrated essay (Web-based or print/Word/PDF). A list of potential digital libraries to review is included below, or you may select your own. The review should include discussion of management, content, technical infrastructure, metadata, and access. You should address the following questions in your review:
- Who owns or manages the digital library?
- What is the digital library owner’s purpose or goal in making the collection available?
- How long has it been available?
- When was it last updated?
- Is the digital library run by one institution or a consortium?
- How large is the project team?
- What are the roles and backgrounds of the participants in the project?
- What is the subject/topic of the digital library?
- Does the digital library hold material from multiple institutions?
- How is content organized in the digital library?
- Is a metadata standard used? If so, which one(s)?
- Is metadata shared through OAI or other mechanisms?
- What metadata was available at the start of the project? How was it converted to digital form if it was not already digital?
- What new metadata creation (if any) was required for the project.
- Technical Infrastructure
- What software does the digital library use to run the library?
- Was the software programmed in-house or is it an off-the-shelf software package?
- What file formats are the digital objects stored in? Are the preservation formats different from access format?
- Who is the audience for the digital library?
- What searching and browsing functionality is provided?
- Is copyright information available for the digital library? If so, what is the copyright policy for the digital library?
Do not simply paste these questions in and answer them. Write a well organized essay/report that addresses the above issues and questions.
Some potential projects for review
This is a somewhat random and arbitrary selection of digital library projects. Feel free to select one from this list or find one elsewhere. Some projects will have more extensive documentation, making it easier to answer some of the questions above. In some cases you may be able to get additional information by communicating with people staff from the project.
Example digital library projects
Please consult the rubric provided for the assignment.
This assignment borrows from one by Catherine Stollar Peters, University at Albany, College of Computing and Information, Dept. of Information Studies.