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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor Claire Warwick

Buchanan, G., Gow, J., Blandford, A., Rimmer, J. & Warwick, C. (2007), Representing aggregate works in the digital library, in Rasmussen, E., Larson, R.R., Toms, E. & Sugimoto, S. eds, Proceedings of the 7th ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 18-23, 2007 building & sustaining the digital environment: JCDL 2007. Vancouver, British Columbia, ACM Press, Vancouver, British Columbia, 247-256.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper studies the challenge of representing aggregate works such as encyclopedias, collected poems and journals in heterogenous digital library collections. Reflecting on the materials used by humanities academics, we demonstrate the varied range of aggregate types and the problems of faithfully representing this in the DL interface. Aggregates are complex and pervasive, challenge common assumptions and confuse boundaries within organisational structures. Existing DL systems can only provide imperfect representation of aggregates, and alterations to document encoding are insufficient to create a faithful reproduction of the physical library. The challenge is amplified through concrete examples, and solutions are demonstrated in a well-known DL system and related to standard DL architecture.

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