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Content archived on 2024-05-18

The European Library


The aim of the project is to develop a pan European distributed digital library with integrated multi-lingual access, based on European national digital collections, hospitable to other resources and widely accessible to European citizens. The project will resolve significant issues in usability, access to digital objects, scalability, interoperability, business aspects and contribute significantly to the development of infrastructure and the building of content.

Its innovations are as follows:
-integrated access on a European scale to distributed electronic resources
- a dual approach of distributed searching and aggregated indexing -new persistent portal services offered to citizens for exploitation of digital resources in innovative and personalised ways.

TEL is an Accompanying Measure whose aim is to set up a co-operative framework in support of ongoing work in the IST programme and at national level in European countries leading to distributed access to major national digital collections. It will build upon the ongoing digital library developments in individual participating libraries and will help to establish policy, standards and technical groundwork, which will enable the establishment of a paneuropean service enabling access to cultural and scientific knowledge. The project will carry out significant dissemination and best practice work, together with concertation efforts bringing together related projects.

Work description:
The overall workplan is to develop a co-operative framework that will lay the groundwork for a system enabling integrated access to distributed national collections. The work is focused on reaching essential agreements with a large number of stakeholders on standards and processes, and testing critical areas such as inter-operability, scalability and multi-lingual features. There is a substantial component of planning work that will examine the issues surrounding the business aspects of any eventual system and its future sustainability.

The nature of the work is heavily based on consensus building through human networking with stakeholders such as publishers, the relevant standards communities and other libraries interested in major strategic issues such as preservation and long-term access. The project will also carry out sufficient technical work to develop testbeds that will adequately test areas, which are presently unknown or un-scaled.

The consortium will work with significant publishers of electronic materials and publisher organisations to establish co-operative approaches to business, licensing and copyright matters. It will also investigate appropriate business plans and models which will maximise the benefits of co-operation and will consult with other projects and agencies to develop a concerted best practice approach to metadata standards and schemas that will support wide scale access to digital material, off-line digital materials and non-digital materials through national libraries. Testing will include scalability of access and multi-lingual capability arising from results identified through concertation on multi-lingual access.

Major milestones are at six months, eighteen months and 30 months. Major results of the project will be large-scale concertation on business and technical issues, streamlined negotiating procedures with publishers, joint and individual business plans and models, joint metadata protocols, policies on sustainability of metadata and preservation of digital objects, and testbed results relating to interoperability and scaling.

Call for proposal

Data not available


EU contribution
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United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (9)