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Electronic Library Image Service for Europe - Phase II


ELISE II will develop and demonstrate an operational image retrieval service based on a heterogeneous set of networked image banks located in several Member States of the Union. This service will be extensible and it will include a model for protection of rights, fair pricing for educational and cultural use, and mechanisms for charging.

Technical approach

The project will develop a (large scale) demonstrator comprising a network of interconnected libraries and related organisations by which distributed image banks in the member organisations can be accessed using standard search and retrieve protocols. Both Z39.50/SR and http access will be catered for. The network will provide security control against unauthorised access where required and charging mechanisms for retrieval of images when authorised. ELISE II will be based on previous achievements of the FP3 ELISE project where a prototype of the envisaged system was developed, proving the feasibility of the fully-fledged service proposed under ELISE II.

Key issues

Establishing an operational electronic image retrieval service in Europe.
Designing the service in such a way as to be replicable or hospitable to the addition of further image banks throughout Europe.
Implementing an influential model for the protection of rights, fair pricing for educational and cultural use, and mechanisms for charging.
Developing access initially to seven collections of images in Member States.
Developing mechanisms which will facilitate the development of spin-off products, including learning materials.

Impact, users and expected results

Promotion of standard protocols and exchange formats.
Interconnection and resource sharing between libraries.
Promotion of European approaches to product development in the image bank and electronic library domains.
Putting a variety of imagebanks within reach of millions of European citizens.
Integration of electronic publishing and electronic library management.
Setting examples for other developers of digital library products.


A working system was available early within the project and has been fine tuned throughout it, resulting in excellent performance in accessing images from the created databanks. Some design specifications and project documents are restricted issue, but publications cover:
image base and textual requirements specifications;
formal project standards;
performance standards and measurement criteria;
GUI user requirements, product reviews and workstation software;
windows test criteria;
pilot performance.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


De Montfort University
The Gateway
LE1 9BH Leicester
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

United Kingdom
Tilburg University Library & Computer Centre
University of Limerick
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Victoria & Albert Museum
United Kingdom