OAIster, at the University of Michigan, University Libraries, Digital Library Production Service (DLPS), is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant‐funded project designed to test the feasibility of using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI‐PMH) to harvest digital object metadata from multiple and varied digital object repositories and develop a service to allow end‐users to access that metadata. This article describes in‐depth the development of our system to harvest, store, transform the metadata into Digital Library eXtension Service (DLXS) Bibliographic Class format, build indexes and make the metadata searchable through an interface using the XPAT search engine. Results of the testing of our service and statistics on usage are reported, as well as the issues that we have encountered during our harvesting and transformation operations. The article closes by discussing the future improvements and potential of OAIster and the OAI‐PMH protocol.
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