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Project Description

The proposed University of Michigan Library service will establish a broad, generic, information retrieval resource for information about publicly available digital library resources provided by the research library community. This service will be built through a collaboration that relies on the University of Illinois’s proposed metadata harvester.

The two primary criteria for inclusion in the University of Michigan service are that the information resources the metadata describe are:

  • publicly accessible and have no access restrictions, and

  • have a corresponding web-based digital representation (e.g., this would not include the metadata records for slides when the slides cannot be accessed through the web).

The proposed service will also encompass as broad a collection of resources as possible (i.e., with no subject parameters). The service will be accessible to the entire Internet community, without bounds. We hope to finally begin to reveal these “hidden web” digital library resources in a way that they are not now revealed.

UM intends to base its service on the proposed UIUC “harvester” mechanisms. That is, UM will not develop a harvester per se, but will develop a service that can provide access to harvested data. In our partnership with UIUC, we will be an early release site for the harvester they propose to develop, and we will develop mechanisms to regularly export the harvested data to a system that is enhanced for information retrieval. The middleware that we use for the access system will be made available freely to other institutions for implementation as they see fit, e.g., to develop subject-based repositories.

For more detail about the project, please read the original Mellon grant proposal. (Please note that in this proposal the timetable for the phases of work have been moved back by 5 months.)

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