Activities within the DELOS Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme started on January 1, 2004.

Digital Libraries (DL) have been made possible through the integration and use of a number of IC technologies, the availability of digital content on a global scale and a strong demand for users who are now online. They are destined to become essential part of the information infrastructure in the 21st century.

The DELOS network intends to conduct a joint program of activities aimed at integrating and coordinating the ongoing research activities of the major European teams working in Digital Library - related areas with the goal of developing the next generation Digital Library technologies. The objective is to:

  • define unifying and comprehensive theories and frameworks over the life-cycle of Digital Library information,
  • build interoperable multimodal/multilingual services and integrated content management ranging from the personal to the global for the specialist and the general population. The Network aims at developing generic Digital Library technology to be incorporated into industrial-strength Digital Library Management Systems (DLMSs), offering advanced functionality through reliable and extensible services.

The Network will also disseminate knowledge of Digital Library technologies to many diverse application domains. To this end a Virtual Digital Library Competence Centre has been established which provides specific user communities with access to advanced Digital Library technologies, services, testbeds, and the necessary expertise and knowledge to facilitate their take-up.

Other important objectives are:

  • to network and structure European Digital Library - related research in order to consolidate an emerging community;
  • to provide a forum where researchers, practitioners, and representatives of interested applications and industries can exchange ideas and experiences;
  • to promote an exchange programme towards improving international cooperation in Digital Library research areas.