January 13, 2001. Innovative Interfaces, Inc., a leading supplier of Web-based library automation systems, announced the development of an XML WebCrawler in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU). The WebCrawler will give MSU the ability to dynamically catalog XML records into their Millennium system.
MSU is building a digital collection of recordings from the Vincent Voice Library (VVL). These VVL records will be part of an online resource that will contain digitized versions of speeches and other spoken works. The digitized records will be accessible via XML-encoded Web pages, with descriptive metadata employing the Encoded Archival Description (EAD).
Innovative's project with MSU is to extract metadata from the XML EAD records and then load the collection-level descriptive fields in the MSU Web OPAC. The searching of VVL records will thus be integrated into the OPAC, with access provided by hyperlink directly from the OPAC to the EAD record.
According to John McCullough, Innovative's Product Manager working with MSU, "WebCrawler leverages the power of XML by integrating diverse resources into a single library catalog. Once cataloged, all of the VVL records become searchable through the Web OPAC, so users can retrieve VVL files along with traditional catalog results—a kind of 'one-stop searching'."
Michael Seadle of MSU Libraries sees this integration of EAD information in the MARC record database as a way to manage large collections of heterogeneous items, including sound files, transcripts, perhaps also images. "It enhances our ability to provide cost-effective access to collections that have long remained uncataloged because of the cost of item-by-item treatment."
Innovative expects to complete the project with MSU by early summer 2001. After that time, the company will make the technology available to all its partner libraries. Jerry Kline, President and CEO of Innovative, said, "Innovative remains committed to mining new technology. MSU is an example of the kind of dialogue we enjoy with our customers; we work together to develop solutions that are relevant to all libraries."