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project funded by the Ministry of Informatics and Telecommunication
The goal of the project is to interconnect the Hungarian electronic libraries on the basis of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), and to expose them to the international OAI network. The OAI defines two roles in the context of accessing digital catalogues: a Data Provider provides a standard interface to access the metadata repository it belongs to. The Service Provider provides value added and unified services (e.g. search, browse) based on the catalogues of the selected Data Providers. Thus it is possible to perform a search in multiple digital catalogues at the same time.
During the course of the project a reference implementation will be created for both OAI modules. Several digital libraries (including the project partner Hungarian Electronic Library) will be equipped with a Data Provider module, and a common search interface will be created to access those.
The future of the digital libraries is to be connected into networks that provide unified services based on the catalogues of multiple digital libraries. However, the libraries are supposed to maintain their identities. Managing their catalogues is a task of local focus, and they should be granted the right to fully dispose of their material. The OAI provides a link between the libraries and the unified services without affecting the existing internal infrastructure of the libraries.