Automating The Dynamic Development And Maintenance Of A Distributed Digital Collection:
The Area Studies Digital Library (ASDL)

Janice P. McDonnell, Wallace C. Koehler, Jr., Bonnie C. Carroll
Information International Associates, Inc., Oak Ridge, Tennessee

This seventeen-month IIa Internet Study addressed the problem of access and retrieval of relevant information for the end user in the evolving digital environment.  The effort evaluated World Wide Web search engines and commercial Internet resource search and maintenance tools for efficacy in creating an Area Studies Digital Library (ASDL) collection.  The researchers identified document types unique to the Internet and applied bibliographic and data transfer standards.  These standards were modified to respond to, and take advantage of, the unique features of the Internet environment.  Commercial software, limited programming, and a custom database application were integrated to create a dynamically maintainable catalog of Internet and World Wide Web resources in scope for the collection.  In the course of the effort, the researchers developed search strategies which contributed to comprehensive coverage and minimized the manual effort required to produce a useable collection.  The two key products of the project were an evaluated database of Internet resources and a semi-automated methodology for development and maintenance of a specialized Internet collection.