Digital Libraries can be defined as focused collections of curated content (text, audio, video) with methods of access, retrieval, organization and maintenance. The first examples were built over a decade ago, usually by large organisations, who could marshal the necessary computer and information resources.
The computer landscape has changed significantly since those early days, and during that time the Digital Library research programme at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, has been investigating their changing capabilities. Some of our recent projects have asked:
The last project in particular—a digital library that literally fits in your back pocket—epitomizes how far we have come from the early digital libraries, and the limitless potential for a future where digital libraries really are ubiquitous
<p>David Bainbridge is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He holds a PhD from the University of Canterbury where he studied the problem of optical music recognition as a Commonwealth Scholar. Since moving to Waikato in 1996, he has continued to broaden his interest in the representation and organization of digital information, and leads the digital library research group. He is co-author of the book, How to Build a Digital Library, now in its 2nd edition.</p>