The goal of the New Zealand Digital Library project is to explore the potential of internet-based digital libraries. Our vision is to develop systems that automatically impose structure on fundamentally anarchic, uncatalogued, distributed repositories of information, thereby providing information consumers with effective tools to locate what they need and peruse it conveniently and comfortably.
We have developed an open source digital library system called Greenstone (nzdl.org) which is being used (amongst other things) to deliver
humanitarian and related information in developing countries. The software
makes it easy to produce collections on CD-ROM, which is a very practical
format for areas with little Internet access; the same collections are also
available, in precisely the same form,over the web. About a dozen CD-ROMs have been produced from various organizations, including NGOs
and several UN agencies.