Digital Library Manifesto

The Digital Library Manifesto – The Driving Force behind the Reference Model

The Digital Library universe is a complex framework bringing together many disciplines and fields, spanning data management, information retrieval, library sciences, document management, information systems, web image processing, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and digital curation. The Digital Library universe is also an interplay of professional roles, encompassing cataloguing and curating, defining, customising and maintaining the Digital Library and its services, as well as developing and customising software. Such complexity and diversity in terms of approaches, solutions and systems has driven the need for common foundations that foster best practices and help focus further advancement in the field.

A collective understanding on Digital Libraries has been acquired by European research groups under the umbrella of the European funded DELOS Network of Excellence, as well as the international scientific community active in the field of Digital Libraries. By capturing a core set of concepts and relationships characterising the Digital Library universe, the DELOS Digital Library Reference Model provides a roadmap enabling the diverse stakeholders involved to share a common understanding and follow the same route when dealing with the multi-faceted Digital Library universe. The outcomes of DELOS have been taken forward by, a project funded by the Cultural Heritage and Technology Advanced Learning Unit of the Information Society Directorate-General of the European Commission, working in synergy with a team of international experts in the field to enhance and extend the Reference Model.

The Digital Library Reference Model comprises four equally important parts with varying layers of abstraction and concretisation: The Digital Library Manifesto, The Digital Library Reference Model in a Nutshell, The Digital Library Reference Model Concepts and Relations and the Digital Library Reference Model Conformance Check List. The Manifesto, which is the focus of this publication, is the driving force behind these Digital Library Modelling Foundations, laying down the main notions characterising the Digital Library universe in rather abstract terms. The Digital Library Reference Model in a Nutshell examines these notions in more detail and with reference to the main concepts and relationships that are related to each of the aspects captured. The Reference Model Concepts and Relations is scoped to cover these concepts and relations in greater detail, explaining their rationale, as well as offering examples of their instantiation in real scenarios. The Digital Library Conformance Check List provides assessors with a set of criteria which can be used to determine whether a digital library complies with the Reference Model.