National Library of Australia Staff Papers, 2003

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Development of a Digital Services Architecture at the National Library of Australia

Warwick Cathro, Tony Boston


The National Library of Australia has developed an architecture for the management, discovery and delivery of its digital collections, embracing both digitised and born-digital information resources. The components of this architecture interoperate using recognised standards developed by communities working in the field of digital libraries. The Library uses the architecture to deliver access to over 100,000 digital objects which include archived web sites and digitised pictorial, map, sheet music, manuscript and audio collections. The main components of the architecture are: (i) A Digital Object Storage System. (ii) A Digital Archiving System which provides Library staff with the tools to gather and manage archival copies of selected Australian websites. (iii) A Digital Collections Manager which provides Library staff with the tools to support digitisation of the Library's collections and the management of the digital surrogates. (iv) A Metadata Repository and Search System. (v) A Persistent Identifier Resolver Service so that all digital collection objects can be allocated a Persistent Identifier and can be accessed via the web using this identifier. (vi) Delivery Systems for complex digitised collection items such as Manuscripts, Maps, Sheet Music and Audio recordings. This paper describes these components with an emphasis on the underlying technical standards which support interoperability, discovery, management and delivery of the digital collections.

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