OAIster: Opening the Archives

OAIster. ‘OAIster is a union catalog of digital resources. We provide access to these digital resources by “harvesting” their descriptive metadata (records) using OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). The Open Archives Initiative is not the same thing as the Open Access movement. Digital resources can range from an old-time advertisement of electric refrigerators (from the Library of Congress American Memory project) to Harriet Beecher Stowe memoirs (from the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service Making of America collection). OAIster currently provides access to 12,384,906 records from 854 contributors.’

Open Archives Initiative (OAI). ‘The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives Initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e-print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. Over time, however, the work of OAI has expanded to promote broad access to digital resources for eScholarship, eLearning, and eScience.’

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