Building a better electronic library at USDA

Tools

Two and half years ago the Agriculture Department started work on a project it hopes will combine 10 databases of reference material, creating integrated search and alerts for at least 100 million records. Now, after bringing together seven of those legacy platforms--some utilizing systems that date back to the 1980's--USDA's DigiTop e-world houses a total of 43,506,532 records.

In the future, parts of the database may be available to anyone, said Stan Kosecki, head of the information services and collections branch of the national agriculture library, while speaking at MarkLogic World in Washington, D.C. The agency has considered eventually parsing the records into licensed and non-licensed data sets so USDA could offer the non-licensed data sets as a public service. For more, read the full article.