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Published: March 1999.

Abstracts

A Spatial Approach for the Access, Manipulation and Publication of Digital Library Artifacts

Dion H. Goh , Texas A & M University, USA
John J. Leggett , Texas A & M University, USA

Session: Design and Navigation of Museum Web Sites

Given the existence of a digital library, what software tools would be most efficient and effective in enhancing the educational value and usability of the collection?" The George Bush Digital Video Library project will address this question by developing a speech-based digital video library together with a set of network-based interactive tools that extend beyond search and retrieval operations. The library will eventually contain 6000 hours of digitized speeches given by former President George Bush and their associated textual transcripts. The materials are being obtained in cooperation with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The basic premise of this project is that digital libraries must offer more than advanced collection maintenance and retrieval services since the ultimate goal of a library, whether physical or digital, is to serve the needs of its patrons whose objectives are often not solely the retrieval of information artifacts. Patrons instead seek these artifacts in order to manipulate and combine them to produce new information artifacts. Thus, in addition to being a repository of information artifacts, a digital library should be an environment that supports the manipulation of these artifacts and the authoring and incorporation of new artifacts. The goal of this research is to extend the functionality of the digital library to allow researchers, educators, and st udents to peruse, compose, and publish knowledge artifacts (currently constituting synchronized mixed text and video hypermedia presentations and annotations) in the collection to meet their informational needs.

Crucial to the realization of the project's objectives is the user interface. Drawing from current research as well as development experience with previous prototypes, this paper proposes and discusses a Web-based direct manipulation interface to the digital library. The interface represents a spatially oriented workspace consisting of objects of different data types such as queries, text, video, and presentations. The direct manipulation paradigm allows these objects to be positioned and visually altered by patrons to create both formal and informal information structures.

The interface is designed to integrate the various tasks envisioned to be performed by a patron, which includes information retrieval and organization, as well as artifact authoring and publication. Patrons will be able to search the library for video clips and textual transcripts, integrate the desired information artifacts together with any annotations to dynamically form a synchronized mixed text and video hypermedia presentation through the material, and finally publish the presentation back into the digital library if desired.