Digital libraries

Profile description and modules


Digital libraries store works digitally, allowing users to access them electronically and to perform content-specific searches of the collections. Digital libraries offer uniform access to finding and appropriating information that is distributed worldwide. 


Development of visual information seeking systems; distributed, semi-structured multimedia databases; search engines, information retrieval, similarity searching; user-centered document and knowledge management

Focus areas

The interdisciplinary study of digital/virtual libraries imparts the required technical, organisational, legal, scientific and social principles, findings, methods and tools for the design, operation and deployment of digital libraries. 

Career prospects

As a graduate with a master's degree specialising in digital libraries, the following career options or professional fields are open to you:

You could work as a ...

  • researcher, developer or in system support at a publishing house, library, governmental or non-governmental organisation in the area of knowledge management, digital libraries (e.g. Springer Verlag, university libraries, scientific organisations, UNESCO)
  • developer and provide support services to a commercial company in the area of corporate communication, taking care of in-house knowledge management (e.g. production companies such as Daimler AG, Bosch, or service providers such as insurance companies and banks)
  • you could work in the laboratories of leading software companies involved in data preparation, retrieval, visualisation and interaction (e.g. SAP, Google)
  • you could continue your career in research at a university or in an industrial research lab to develop new usage modelling, interfaces and/or systems to manage digital and multimedia content for Web 2.0 (e.g. University of Konstanz, Microsoft Research, Google Research, IBM Research).

Area of application

Digital libraries frequently offer categorised collections of information on individual topics. This information can be in the form of electronic texts, pictures, films, music, audio recordings, cards, construction drawings, weblinks, electronic reference volumes or electronic magazine libraries. Internet portals to search for scientific information are sometimes called virtual libraries or virtual specialised libraries.

Besides searching for scientific information (e.g., digital libraries are also used to satisfy a wide range of information needs. In the entertainment industry, for instance, they are used to provide comprehensive information on a film (e.g. or piece of music (e.g., in (virtual) museums they can help present extensive collections, in companies they may be used for documenting individual products (e.g. Product Lifecycle Management Systems). Virtual libraries are maintained by collectives, individual libraries or indivdiual persons.

Contact persons and mentor recommendations:

Professor Daniel Keim, Databases, Data Mining and Visualisation

Professor Harald Reiterer, Human-Computer Interaction

Professor Marc Scholl, Databases and Information Systems

Junior Professor Bela Gipp, AG Information Science