Digital libraries, Web 2.0 and historians

My post is to be linked with Larry Cebula’s first question:

«The first [question] is how to make my institution, the Washington State Digital Archives, more interactive, useful, and Web 2.0ish. We have 80 million documents online and an interface from 1997! I need not only ideas on how to change, but success stories and precedents and contacts to convince my very wary state bureaucracy that we can and have to change.»

My institution is editing a digital library called European NAvigator (ENA), a digital library on the European integration process (ie the long process which led to today’s European Union), which has almost no equivalent on-line (on this subject). At the beginning, it was intended to be for the use of high school’s teachers and for every citizen who was interested in the subject.

The site as you can see it now was put on-line in 2005. It obvioulsy lacks participatory and “community” features – what’s somehow unfortunately called Web 2.0 features. We would like to use those kind of features to give more services to our present audience, but also to extend – with some special features – this audience to researchers (history, law and political sciences).

I would like to propose a session on digital libraries, where I will present you ENA and its future as we see it for 2010. But my point is to share a more general reflexion on digital libraries and their future within Web 2.0 and further within the semantic Web. The idea is not to do some Web 2.0 for the sake of it, but to better focus on researchers and their needs.


One Response to “Digital libraries, Web 2.0 and historians”

  1. joguldi Says:

    love it. curious whether web2.0ness can be built into existing public infrastructure. e.g. twittering #thatcamp, or delicious-tagging “ena” on links related to your project

    …and what about, as a start, a community board pointing handles for those of us who want to follow e/o on delicious, flickr, twitter? …