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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 23 NOV 2000
Project Number and Title
4056 - The European Legislative Virtual Library
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ C 8, 9 and 11 September 1996

Keywords : distance learning; European legislative information; multimedia; thesaurus; training; World Wide Web

blue bullet Additional information is available from the ELVIL website . (

Action Line

Action line C: Library services for access to networked information resources.

Call topic(s)

Call topic 8: User Services based on resource discovery and retrieval;
Call topic 9: Test-beds for library-mediated access and services based on network information resources;
Call topic 11: User applications supporting unified access to combined network information and library-based resources.

Project description

ELVIL is developing an Internet-based aid for search, selection and presentation of information on European law and politics. Today this body of information is scattered among numerous locations and media with no unified method of access. The application will significantly increase the availability of the information and be an important step towards building a European infrastructure of legal and political information to the benefit of both the civic and educational community.

Technical approach

The project consists of three parts which form an integrated whole: The European Legislative Virtual Library (ELVIL):

Part 1 - assemble a WWW index on law and politics in Europe in order to gather, into one coherent WWW-accessible database, all Internet accessible computer based information resources on European law and politics.

Part 2 - develop a multimedia educational aid, including a multilingual thesaurus, for students of European law and politics, teachers and librarians.

Part 3 - construct a search engine composed of a common WWW interface and software gateways for easy and concurrent access to the national parliamentary databases and to the European parliamentary database.

Key issues

The main technical issues are:

  • All issues associated with the de-sign of a WWW-based Internet on-line service.
  • Multimedia design and user friendliness, database design, interoperability.
  • Conformity to Internet standards and security.
  • Use of HTML for all applications as a way to build user interfaces.
  • Firewall technology and an exten-sive certification programme to ensure the necessary level of trust.


The project will make a significant contribution to both the extent and quality of the infrastructure for European legislative and legal information. It will increase the potential for civic participation as well as providing basic tools for both traditional and long-distance education. Through the production of multimedia educational material, the project will help to integrate the new online library services in a distance learning environment.
There will be three main test sites in Sweden, Spain and the UK.


The main deliverables of the project include the following, not all of which are for public release:

  • Database engine prototype
  • Analysis and choice of tools
  • Database and indexing design
  • Design and specification prototype educational aid prototype
  • Study of the databases
  • Survey Report
  • Annual and final reports.

blue bullet The project completed Phase I in October 1997 and Phase II, the full implementation, began in January 1998.
The public documentation, prototypes and a demonstration can be found on the Web at: .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Stockholm University Library S - 106 91 STOCKHOLM SE
Title, First Name, Name Mrs Ingrid CANTWELL
Project director
Tel: + 46 8 16 27 86 Fax: + 46 8 15 77 76
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
De Montfort University Library UK P
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya ES P
Context UK A
Sveriges Riksdag SE A
Riksdagsbiblioteket SE A
Diputació de Barcelona ES A
Örebro Stadsbibliotek SE A
European Parliament, Directorate General for Research EPOQUE LU X
software will be available under licence.

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