Beyond the Beginning: The Global Digital Library

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The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It holds over 150,000,000 items representing every age of written civilisation. The British Library exists to serve scholarship, research and innovation. It is the national archive of monographs and serials received by legal deposit. It provides Reading Room and enquiry services, as well as a range of document supply services for remote users. The Library’s Digital Library Programme is looking at how new digital and networking technologies can expand the use of its rich collections.

The British Library Research and Innovation Centre (BLRIC) aims to promote, support, manage and disseminate high quality research, development and innovation in information, library and related fields. Its funds will be used to encourage progress in the library and information community, to evaluate the state of knowledge on issues of interest to that community, and to promote significance of this work among the wider community including policy makers, business leaders and senior managers. For further details refer to URL


The Council of Australian University Librarians has as its mission the advancement of teaching, learning and research through planned co-operative endeavours by Australian University libraries. CAUL provides a forum for discussion of issues relating to libraries, and a mechanism for the co-ordination of activities which benefit

the University community. For further details refer to URL


CAUSE is the association for managing and using information resources in higher education. An international non-profit association, CAUSE’s mission is to enable the transformational changes occurring in higher education through the effective management and use of information resources – technology, services, and information. The CAUSE membership includes more than 1,400 colleges and universities from all regions of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and several other countries – as well as 80 corporate members. Nearly 4,000 individuals participate in CAUSE as member representatives from their institutions. For further details refer to URL


The Coalition for Networked Information was founded in March 1990 to promote the creation and use of networked information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity. The Coalition is a joint project of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), CAUSE (see above), and Educom. A task force of over 200 institutions and organisations provides the Coalition with insights, initiatives, and resources to pursue its mission. Members of the task force include higher education institutions, publishers, network service providers, computer companies, library networks and organisations, and public and state libraries. It is a truly diverse partnership of institutions and organisations with a common interest in realising the promise of networked information resources and services. For further details refer to URL


The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) was established on 1 April 1993 by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland and Wales, and is now also supported by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI). The mission for JISC is "to stimulate and enable the cost effective exploitation of information systems and to provide a high quality national infrastructure for the UK higher education and research councils’ communities".

The main objectives of JISC are:

For further details refer to URL


The UK Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN) and its antecedent organisations have been based at the University of Bath for the last 20 years. It supports the UK library and information communities through research, co-ordination and awareness, and information services in the area of network information management. It has recently expanded and developed a work programme around distributed library and information systems, resource discovery and metadata, bibliographic management and public library networking. At the same time it has also expanded its network information and event organisation services. UKOLN is funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre and by JISC. For further details refer to URL

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