Available and useful: OAI at the Library of Congress

. Library Hi Tech 21 (2): 129--139 (June 2003)


The Library of Congress (LC) was an early adopter of the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. The protocol allows LC to make digitized historical collections available for integration into other services. The protocol was straightforward to implement and the harvesting traffic has no perceptible effect on the primary users of the American Memory project. Now that services can integrate records for cultural heritage resources from many sources, it is time to build on that experience to develop better services. How should the scarce resources available to produce metadata be deployed to most advantage to support discovery in different contexts? How might metadata harvesting be exploited to support new interfaces and enhanced navigation among related resources in digital libraries? This article starts a conversation between metadata providers and service builders by describing LC's experience and questions that have surfaced.

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