Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


How digital will libraries ever be? Musings on the limits of a popular metaphor

Project ID: IST-2001-34898
Funded under: FP5-IST


In this paper, Dr Stefan Gradmann of the University of Hamburg attempts to reconsider the Digital Library metaphor and to consider terminological and conceptual alternatives. The paper is mainly concerned with the borderline between the way information is organized in electronic library catalogues on the one hand and in genuine WWW-based information repositories on the other hand. The main goal here is to identify some of the fundamental differentiating characteristics, be it in terms of the information entities themselves and the way they are conceptualised or the way they are referenced and their identity is established in the respective contexts. The overall aim is to help describe the often complex relation between electronic catalogues and WWW-based information repositories in terms of mutual redundancy, competition and convergence. Some hints are given concerning the possible ways for both worlds to co-evolve in the near future.

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