The tradition of union catalogs and similar broad‐based, comprehensive bibliographic utilities and tools is one of long standing in the discipline of librarianship. As we move towards greater reliance on digital primary sources, the sharing of information about what we hold in our digital collections intuitively seems of increasing import and value as a way to organize and manage the explosion of online information resources. The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting enables effective and efficient sharing of digital metadata and is being utilized across a wide spectrum of disciplines and digital library projects. Experience to date gives reason for optimism and provides evidence and confirmation that, even as the technologies we use evolve, the intellectual framework of our tradition persists and continues to be relevant.
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