Digital Library Image

Web Resources

"Digital libraries are organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities."
Working definition for the Digital Library Federation

    The term digital library is fairly general, and is used in a variety of ways.  The two required elements are an entity that provides services such as reference, access guidence and instruction, and a corpus of knowlege existing in an electronic format.  The nature of the knowledge varies.  In some, it could be collections of articles and other electronic resources.  In others, it is digitized copies of print materials.  For either, however, the body of knowledge has to be big enough and varied enough that it is a collection and not a single subscription or document.  It is generally agreed that a physical library just having a web page does not constitute a digital library.  The key is that there is not just links or guidance, but the actual knowledge that would be the end point of a search.  This knowledge must be structured or described in some fashion, allowing for browsing or searching at the document level.  Some digital libraries offer searching at the page level as well. 

Library of Congress Subject Headings: Many of the resources about digital libraries in the UNC library catalog fall under these subject headings

Libraries-United States-Special Collections-Computer Files
Digital Libraries-United States
Digital Preservation
Electronic Records