A digital library enables users to interact effectively with information distributed across a network. These network information systems support search and display of items from organized collections. In the historical evolution of digital libraries, the mechanisms for retrieval of scientific literature have been particularly important. Grand visions in 1960 led first to the development of text search, from bibliographic databases to full- text retrieval. Next, research prototypes catalyzed the rise of document search, from multimedia browsing across local-area networks to distributed search on the Internet. By 2010, the visions will be realized, with concept search enabling semantic retrieval across large collections.
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