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Top > About Us > Digital Library Projects

Digital Library Projects

2. History of Digital Library Project

In the1980's, when planning for construction of the Kansai-kan began, the NDL intended that the Kansai-kan would function as a comprehensive information-processing center with advanced technologies. In the intervening years, the Internet has emerged as a major part of the communications infrastructure, and many countries have launched digital library projects. Major developments related to the NDL's digital library projects since 1994 are as follows.

Year Milestones
  • Pilot Electronic Library Project *1
  • Cooperative experiments with the Association of Broadband-ISDN Business Chance and Culture Creation (BBCC) *2
  • G7 (G8) Electronic Library Project Meeting (-->The Bibliotheca Universalis)
  • Next-generation Electronic Library Research Development project *3
  • Electronic Library Development Committee was established in the NDL
  • Conference on Promotion of the Electronic Library
  • Electronic Library Development Office in the Planning Division of the Administrative Department.
  • Digital Information Planning Office in the Planning and Cooperation Division of the Administrative Department at the Tokyo Main Library
  • Digital Library Division at the Kansai-kan
  • Opening of the Kansai-kan
  • The Digital Library from the Meiji Era (-2016), Web Archiving Project (WARP) and Database Navigation Service (Dnavi) (–2014)
  • Support for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) *5
  • Development of the NDL Digital Archiving System
  • Testing of the NDL Digital Archive Portal prototype
  • Full-scale operation of the Web Archiving Project (WARP)
  • The NDL Digital Archive Portal (PORTA) (–2012) opens to the public.
  • The NDL Digital Archiving System
  • The NDL joins the World Digital Library.
  • Mass Digitization of NDL holdings per supplemental budgets for FY2009 (Article 1) in response to Policy Package to Address Economic Crisis. (two-year project)
  • The Copyright Act is revised (effective January 2010)
    The NDL is permitted to digitalize copyrighted material to ensure its preservation without the consent of the copyright owner.
  • The National Diet Library Law is revised (effective April 2010)
    The NDL is permitted to collect government and other public agency publications without the consent of the copyright owners.
  • NDL Search
  • Distribution of the Historical Recordings Collection to public libraries, etc.
  • The Copyright Act is revised (effective January 2013)
    The NDL may thus transmit its digitalized and unavailable materials to other libraries, etc.
  • The National Diet Library Law is revised (effective July 2013)
    The NDL is permitted to acquire privately published digital information equivalent to books and serial publications (digital books and magazines = online materials) that are free of charge and not protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM).
  • The NDL Digitized Contents is integrated with the NDL Digital Collections.
  • The Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries in Japan
  • The data collection and transmission service for the visually disabled, etc.
*1 Pilot Electronic Library Project (1994–1999)
Pilot Electronic Library Project is an experimental project undertaken jointly by the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA) and the NDL. The National Union Catalog Network Pilot Project and the Electronic Library Practical Experiment were conducted as part of this project. The results of the National Union Catalog Network Pilot Project were transferred to the National Union Catalog Network (Unicanet), which was integrated with NDL Search in January 2012.
As part of the Electronic Library Practical Experiment, the NDL began to digitalize its rare books and books published during the Meiji period as and also built a prototype system for a digital library.
*2 Cooperative experiments with the Association of Broadband-ISDN Business Chance and Culture Creation (BBCC) (1995–2002)
The NDL and the BBCC conducted cooperative experiments on input/search functionality in digital libraries and experiments on digital exhibitions. The results of these experiments were released by the NDL as digital exhibitions, including Rare Books of the National Diet Library and Nippon (Japan) in the World.
*3 Next generation Electronic Library Research Development project (1996–2000)
This project was implemented by the Japan Information Processing Development Center (JIPDEC) under a contract from the IPA, which was commissioned by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to establish and develop a basis for information processing for future digital libraries. The NDL contributed to this project by participating in a variety of committees.
*4 Electronic Library national liaison conference
This conference provides the opportunity for libraries and related institutions to exchange information and improve library services through promotion of digital library projects.
*5 Support for UNESCO
The NDL participated in the Information for All (IFA) Plan Section program, which was established in 2002 in the Communication Committee of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

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