The digital revolution offers tremendous potential to add value to the processes of information creation, dissemination, and access while at the same time reshaping the roles of the library and librarians. The University of Michigan's Digital Library Program is offered as a case study to highlight the organizational, technological, and behavioral challenges of developing and integrating digital collections and services. The program has also pursued the development of a campus “information community”-i.e., coherent and coordinated approaches toward information economics, access, and management.
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Two related sets of activities are being explored in projects that convert and preserve historical material. Building on the work of colleague institutions to capture faithful replications of older materials, we have put additional energy into building deeper access structures. A project funded by the Andrew W.M ellon Foundation to convert American history materials (initially focusing on 1850-1900) has been developed in partnership with Comell University. The Making of America Project has thus far scanned and preserved 5000 volumes in the initial phase and a second phase with many more institutional participants is under de~elopment.~ Michigan's approach toward conversion and preservation of book-length texts has moved the conversion process further to include adding full text and basic structural elements. Figure 2 depicts the conversion steps that have been developed, with a vendor providing the basic scanning and indexing. Routines have been locally developed to auto-generate OCR and low-level (page-level) SGML mark up.
Two additional factors have shaped the development of thc program. An important opportunity emerged in 1994 with the School of Inforrna-tion's receipt of a large-scale federal grant (from the joint Digital Library Initiative of the National Science Foundation/Advanced Rcsearch Projects AgencyflJational Aeronautics and Space Administration). This multi-disciplinary research project is devcloping an agent architecturc for large-scale, distributed digital libraries, and provides a testbed in which new hnctionality can be explored. More recently, the Academic Outreach Program, which focuscs on off-campus initiatives, has joincd the partnership.