DELOS is a Network of Excellence (NoE) on Digital Libraries partially funded until the end of 2007 by the European Commission Sixth Framework Programme within the Information Society Technologies Programme (IST). As a matter of fact, the activities of DELOS started with the DELOS Working Group (late 1990s) and the DELOS Thematic Network (2001-2003, under the Fifth Framework Program).

The main objectives of DELOS are research, whose results are in the public domain, and technology transfer, through cooperation with interested parties.



That all citizens, anywhere, anytime, should have access to Internet-connected digital devices to search all of human knowledge, regardless of barriers of time, place, culture or language has been a vision of DELOS since its inception.

DELOS believes that, in the near future, networked virtual libraries will enable anyone from their home, school or office to access the knowledge contained in the digital collections created by traditional libraries, museums, archives, universities, governmental agencies, specialised organizations, and individuals around the world.

These new libraries not only will offer digital versions of traditional library, museum and archive holdings including text, documents, video, sound and images, but they will also provide powerful new technological capabilities that will enable users to work collaboratively through annotations and sharing of resources, to refine their requests, analyse the results and access collections in other languages.


DELOS conducts a joint program of activities aimed at integrating and coordinating the ongoing research efforts of several major European teams working in digital library-related areas.

Its main objective and goal is to develop the next generation of digital library technologies by:

* defining unifying and comprehensive theories and frameworks over the life-cycle of digital library information;
* building interoperable multimodal/multilingual services and integrated content management ranging from the personal to the global for the specialist and the general population;
* developing generic Digital Library technology to be incorporated into industrial-strength Digital Library Management Systems (DLMSs), offering advanced functionality through reliable and extensible services;
* networking and structuring European research on digital libraries to consolidate an emerging community;
* supporting an exchange program of researchers;
* providing a forum where researchers, practitioners, and representatives of the application communities can exchange ideas and experiences;
* promoting cooperation between European and national digital library initiatives;
* improving international cooperation in digital library research areas.


Research activities

Digital libraries support the specialized needs of very diverse technologies and applications, from cultural heritage to general science, health, government, and education. The potential exists for digital libraries to become the universal knowledge repositories and communication conduits of the future, a common vehicle through which information in all forms can be accessed, discussed, and enhanced. In order to fulfill their new roles as universal knowledge infrastructures, digital libraries require research in several key areas pointing to the development of:

* user-centred system design methodology;
* pro-active systems with functionality that facilitates collaboration, communication, and information creation;
* generic Digital Library Management Systems that provide basic system infrastructures that can be used to implement application specific digital libraries incorporating context-specific services.

Towards this end, DELOS coordinates a Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) of several major European teams working in digital libraries related areas. The objective is to develop dynamic ubiquitous knowledge environments, which will transform research and education at all levels by collecting, organizing and making publicly accessible on-line vast quantities of information.

The ultimate goal is to provide access to human knowledge from anywhere and any time and in an efficient and user-friendly fashion. DELOS also aims at disseminating knowledge of digital library technologies to many diverse application domains, by providing access to technological know-how, services, test-beds, and the necessary expertise to facilitate their take-up.

The Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) is organized into the following seven clusters of integration and research activities:

* Digital Library Architecture. The main objective of this research cluster is the conceptual and experimental evaluation of the impact of peer-to-peer data management, grid computing middleware and service-oriented architectures on a digital library architecture in order to reveal the advantages and disadvantages of either approach.

* Information Access and Personalization. It aims at developing a uniform understanding among researchers concerning available practices in the fields of information access and personalization in digital libraries, by building and promoting a common and comprehensive framework to serve as a reference point and to stimulate research.

* Audio/Visual and Non-traditional Objects. The objectives of this research cluster are to establish a common ground of knowledge for European researchers about the state of the art, the research directions and important new applications for digital libraries with audio-visual and non-traditional objects, as well as to advance the state of the art in these areas.

* User Interfaces and Visualization. It aims at developing methodologies, techniques and tools to enable future digital libraries designers and developers to meet not only the technological, but also the user-oriented requirements in a balanced way.

* Knowledge Extraction and Semantic Interoperability. It aims at exploring the potential of new models, algorithms, methodologies and processes in a variety of technical applications, institutional frameworks and cross-sectoral environments, which will lead to the creation of guidelines and recommendations of best practice concerning knowledge extraction and semantic interoperability.

* Preservation. It aims at providing the methodological framework and theory for ensuring that digital libraries research addresses preservation issues and digital libraries incorporate preservation elements in their designs.

* Evaluation. It aims at developing a comprehensive theoretical framework for digital libraries evaluation, by researching on new methodologies and corresponding toolkits and test-beds in order to enable new evaluations and to ease the application of standard evaluation methods.

Among its cross-cluster activities, DELOS is working on the development of a [ Digital Library Reference Model] aimimg at providing a conceptual framework for the new research field laying at the intersection of the many diverse disciplines involved in digital libraries (data management, information retrieval, document management system, information systems, the web, image processing, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, mass-storage systems, etc.), and on a globally integrated prototype implementation of a Digital Library Management System ( [ DelosDLMS] ), which will serve as a concrete partial implementation of the reference model and will encompass many software components developed by DELOS partners.

Dissemination activities

In addition to Scientific Workshops dedicated to specific research topics, DELOS is sponsoring an annual conference known as [ ECDL] , the European Conference on Digital Libriaries. ECDL is the major European event focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical and social issues. As for education and technology transfer, DELOS organizes Summer Schools on key aspects of digital libraries (e.g. preservation, access to multimedia objects, library studies).


* [ DELOS Work Programme Summary] (from the Technical Annex to the DELOS contract, which was approved by the European Commission in December 2003)
* [ Outline of DELOS Joint Program of Activities (JPA)] (from the Technical Annex to the DELOS contract, which was approved by the European Commission in December 2003)
* [ DELOS Official Website]

ee also

* Digital libraries
* European Conference on Digital Libraries
* European Commission
* Information Society Technologies
* Sixth Framework Programme

External links

* [ DELOS website]
* [ ECDL Conference Series]

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