Federated Metasearch Strategies and Issues: Searching, Finding, and Archiving Data of the World from Disparate Public Systems

Michael McKenna - California Digital Library, University of California, Office of the President

Intended Audience: Managers, Software Engineers, Systems Analysts
Session Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Libraries and museums have been cataloging and archiving creative, scholarly, and political works since before the time of the Greeks. In the Digital Age, institutions have been storing metadata about information for the past thirty years or more. Even though standards exist, and have existed for some time, each institution may have chosen to store its information in different formats or encodings, may use different subsets of metadata, or different protocols to access the information.

In order to allow federated metasearch (distributed searching) across multiple repositories physically owned and managed by different institutions, several problems must be overcome. This paper will discuss problems and solutions related to the California Digital Library (CDL) which links all libraries across all campuses of the University of California, several museums, California public libraries, and links to other institutions such as Stanford, MIT, and the Library of Congress.

In addition, we will take a look at emerging problems as the CDL takes on the issues of archiving antiquities, oral histories, historical web sites, and non- textual digital media.