91647 - Digital Library

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Library and Archive Science (cod. 9077)

Learning outcomes

The course introduces the problems of creating, organizing, and accessing digital libraries. At the end of the course the student knows: the workflow of the digital library and its differences with the traditional library; the models and theories of the digital library; the issues of copyright and privacy; the new models of scientific communication. The student can identify user needs; create and manage a digital collection; understand the functioning of search engines and information architecture; evaluate and choose the different ways of preserving documents.

Course contents

Starting from a historical-conceptual excursus related to the Digital Library, the Course introduces the student to issues related to digital library services and practices, deepening the new aspects of librarianship related to the web-semanic and the new frontiers of cultural communication.

In particular, the contents of the course will concern:

- Digital library definitions, models, functions and services

- The Manifesto of the Digital Library

- Guidelines for digitizing analog documents

- Rights Management and Creative Commons Licenses

- Metadata, Linked Data technology, IIIF standard

- Open Science, Open access, and academic repositories

- Relationship between digital libraries and virtual exhibitions.

This will provide a comprehensive view of the reality of Digital Library as an information space where digital collections, access services, and people interact to support the cycle of creation, preservation, and use of the digital document.


Training prerequisites are a basic knowledge of the world of libraries and online information retrieval tools (OPACs, databases, search engines). For this, if you do not have previous bases of Librarianship, it is advisable to follow the teaching of Library Management in advance or to recover them through the study of the recommended manual.


The exam bibliography includes:

1) One of the following basic texts:

a) Anna Maria Tammaro - Alberto Salarelli, La biblioteca digitale. Milano, Editrice Bibliografica, 2006.

b) Maria Teresa Biagetti, Le biblioteche digitali. Tecnologie, funzionalità e modelli di sviluppo. Milano, Franco Angeli, 2019, part I.

2) the following articles and documents to deepen the subject:

a) Paola Manoni, L’adozione del IIIF nell’ecosistema digitale della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Digitalia, 2 2020 https://digitalia.cultura.gov.it/article/view/2632 

b) Alberto Salarelli, International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF): una panoramica, JLIS.it 8, 1 2017. https://www.jlis.it/article/view/12090

c) IFLA, Linee guida per pianificare la digitalizzazione di collezioni di libri rari e manoscritti, 2014 https://www.ifla.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/assets/rare-books-and-manuscripts/rbms-guidelines/guidelines-for-planning-digitization-it.pdf 


Non-attendants will add a text of their choice from the following:


Mauro Guerrini - Tiziana Possemato. Linked data per biblioteche, archivi e musei. Perché l'informazione sia del web e non solo del web. Milano, Editrice Bibliografica, 2015, chap.1-6.

Associazione italiana biblioteche, Gruppo di lavoro sulle biblioteche digitali, Piano d’azione per l’infrastruttura nazionale della conoscenza. Roma, Associazione Italiana Biblioteche, 2023.


Digital Humanities. Metodi, strumenti, saperi. A cura di Fabio Ciotti. Roma, Carocci, 2023, parte I: p.1-254.


Those who need to consolidate the principles of Librarianship are strongly advised to read:

Giorgio Montecchi - Fabio Venuda. Nuovo Manuale di biblioteconomia. Milano, Bibliografica, 2022.

And the use of:

Ferruccio Diozzi, Nuovo Glossario di biblioteconomia e scienza dell'informazione, Milano, Editrice Bibliografica, 2021. 


Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, and thematic insights with experts.

Teaching also takes place in 'blended learning'. Gradually will appear material for consolidation and deepening at e-learning page of the course; access to the page of the e-learning  with the institutional credentials and a password that will be provided in class or with chat in Teams by the teacher.


Assessment methods

The exam consists of an oral interview starting from the presentation of a topic chosen by the student.

The teacher will evaluate the mastery of the content and of bibliography of the course, the ability to synthesize and analyze the themes and concepts, the use of an appropriate language, and also the critical and methodological abilities matured by the student. 

You will notice that lack of training, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliographic materials offered during the course will be evaluated negatively.

The teacher can provide the assignment of an intermediate written test to be held in the classroom or a report to be discussed it during the oral examination.

Teaching tools

In the 'Virtual teaching resources' section - which can be accessed with a password that the teacher will communicate at the beginning of the lessons - the basic teaching material will be available from the start of the course (exemplary and in-depth Power Points, links to videos and handouts provided by the teacher). Furthermore, the recordings (or the link to the recordings) of the first two actual lessons of the course (which will be held in the classroom) will be available on Virtuale, so that everyone (attending, non-attending, workers, etc.) will be able to retrieve the orientation information for the course . Please note that initiatives (educational visits, seminars, conferences, book presentations...) indicated and/or organized by the teacher are to be considered supplementary to the teaching and will be recognized during the exam.



All student who are affected by learning disability (DSA) and in need of special strategies to compensate it, are kindly requested to contact Prof. Sabba, in order to be referred to the colleagues in charge and get proper advice and instructions.


Office hours

See the website of Fiammetta Sabba


Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.