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Greenstone Digital Library

Greenstone Digital Library

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Greenstone Digital Library

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  1. Greenstone Digital Library Usage and Implementation By: Paul Raymond A. Afroilan Network Applications Team Preginet, ASTI-DOST

  2. Introduction • Greenstone is a suite of software for building and distributing digital library collections. It provides a new way of organizing information and publishing it on the Internet or on CD-ROM. Greenstone is produced by the New Zealand Digital Library Project at the University of Waikato, and developed and distributed in cooperation with UNESCO and the Human Info NGO. It is open-source, multilingual software, issued under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

  3. Features • Builds and distributes digital library collections • Full-text document search and display • Multi-platform support • Web-based user interface • Highly customizable • Document collections can be exported to CD-ROMs • Can be used for archiving

  4. Overview of Greenstone • Collections A typical digital library built with Greenstone will contain many collections, individually organized—though they bear a strong family resemblance. Easily maintained, collections can be augmented and rebuilt automatically.

  5. Overview of Greenstone • Document Formats Source documents come in a variety of formats, and are converted into a standard XML form for indexing by “plugins.” Plugins distributed with Greenstone process plain text, HTML, WORD and PDF documents, and Usenet and E-mail messages.

  6. Overview of Greenstone • Multimedia documents Collections can contain text, pictures, audio and video. Non-textual material is either linked into the textual documents or accompanied by textual descriptions (such as figure captions) to allow full-text searching and browsing.

  7. Using Greenstone Collections • Figure 1 shows a screenshot of the “Demo” collection supplied with the Greenstone software. Almost all icons are clickable. Several icons appear at the top of almost every page. Figure 1

  8. Using Greenstone Collections

  9. Using Greenstone Collections • Figure 2 shows a document in the demo collection. Beside the photograph is a table of contents: the entry in bold face marks where you are, in this case Introduction and Summary—Section 1 of the chosen book. This table is expandable: click on the folders to open them or close them. Figure 2

  10. Using Greenstone Collections

  11. Making Greenstone Collections • The simplest way to build new collections is to use Greenstone’s “librarian” interface (GLI). This allows you to collect sets of documents, import or assign metadata, and build them into a Greenstone collection. It supports five basic activities, which can be interleaved but are nominally undertaken in this order:

  12. Making Greenstone Collections 1. Copy documents from the computer’s file space, including existing collections, into the new collection. Any existing metadata remains “attached” to these documents. Documents may also be gathered from the web through a built-in mirroring facility. 2. Enrich the documents by adding further metadata to individual documents or groups of documents.

  13. Making Greenstone Collections 3. Design the collection by determining its appearance and the access facilities that it will support. 4. Build the collection using Greenstone. 5. Preview the newly created collections, which will have been installed on your Greenstone home page as one of the regular collections.

  14. GLI – Start a new collection

  15. GLI – Exploring file space

  16. GLI – Importing metadata

  17. GLI – Assigning metadata

  18. GLI – Designing a collection

  19. GLI – Specifying plug-ins

  20. GLI – Create collection

  21. GLI – View collection

  22. The Collector: Collection Building Login >>

  23. The Collector: Collection Building << Collection information

  24. The Collector: Collection Building << Getting the source file

  25. The Collector: Collection Building Collection >> Configuration

  26. Searching Collections

  27. Viewing Documents

  28. Implementation • The Greenstone Digital Library software can run on any linux or windows based platform. The Preginet Digital Library system ( was installed in a server running Redhat Linux 9. Other software requirements include the java runtime system and apache webserver (for a more detailed description of the system requirements refer to GSDL documentation available at

  29. Implementation • The web-based user interface was customized in accordance to the ASTI theme and collections organized to satisfy the needs of the partner institutions (for more details in customizing greenstone refer to the development manual available at

  30. Services • The system utilizes the Preginet infrastructure to provide the much needed content to connected partners. It is offered as a service to partners, which include collection hosting and administration. Preginet also offers system customization and setup, training-workshops for users and administrators.

  31. Services • In these efforts the Preginet Digital Library system aims to link different repositories from partner institutions and assembling virtual collections that users can search and browse online. • Currently the Network Applications Team is focused in encouraging partners to avail of the service in the attempt to promote information sharing and enhance collaborative research and learning.

  32. Contacts • ASTI Website: • PREGINET Digital Library System: • Email: