The Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (CSDL) was established in 1995 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and builds upon research developed in the Hypermedia Research Laboratory established in 1987. A member of the global digital library research community, the Center provides a focal point for digital libraries research and technology for the State of Texas. Its mission is to foster pioneering research on the theory and application of digital libraries and to create flexible and efficient new technologies for their use.
The Center provides expertise and experience to help transfer collections of all types — from books and journals to biological specimens and museum pieces — into useful digital libraries. Center staff includes experts in key new technologies required for digital libraries: electronic document modeling and publication, hyperbase systems, process-based and spatial hypermedia systems, collaborative systems, and computer-human interaction.
The Center’s program of research responds to the U.S. government’s National Challenge program for research in information infrastructure technology. It provides a leadership role in the on-line development and application of world-wide access to digital library services. Development of this technology provides valuable fundamental research and supports the broader goal of research and education through improved means for collaboration and distance learning. The Center is not limited to one discipline; rather the development of digital libraries may be viewed as a fundamental contribution to research in all disciplines.
The Center organized the first two Conferences on the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries. The proceedings of these conferences helped lay the foundation for this important new research field. The first ACM-sponsored international conference on digital libraries was held in the spring of 1996. ACM has continued this conference series, providing the premier research venue for the field of digital libraries.