Institutional repository software is designed for archiving, organizing, and searching a library's content. Popular open-source solutions include DSpace, EPrints, Digital Commons, and Fedora Commons-based systems Islandora and Samvera. The design and implementation in digital libraries are constructed so computer systems and software can make use of the information when it is exchanged. These are referred to as semantic digital libraries. Semantic libraries are also used to socialize with different communities from a mass of social networks. DjDL is a type of semantic digital library. Keywords-based and semantic search are the two main types of searches. A tool is provided in the semantic search that create a group for augmentation and refinement for keywords-based search. Conceptual knowledge used in DjDL is centered around two forms; the subject ontology and the set of concept search patterns based on the ontology. The three type of ontologies that are associated to this search are bibliographic ontologies, community-aware ontologies, and subject ontologies.
The concept of digital libraries emerged in 1892 from the early ideas of Paul Outlet in ways to cease the violent wars, eliminate national boundaries, and allow humanity to become balanced. He discussed in his book called "Birth of the Information Age" about how to interlink millions of documents, images, audio and video files together so people could search in one system. He called it the "Mundaneum." In present time, this idea is closely associated with the Internet. Vannevar Bush and J.C.R. Licklider are two more contributors that advanced this idea into newer technology. Bush was seen as a researcher that assisted in making the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. After seeing the disaster, he wanted to create a machine that would show how technology can lead to understanding instead of destruction. This machine would include a desk with two screens, switches and buttons, and a keyboard. He named this the "Memex." This way individuals would be able to access stored books and files at a rapid speed. In 1956, Ford Foundation funded Licklider to analyze how libraries could be improved with technology. Almost a decade later, his book entitled "Libraries of the Future" included his vision. He wanted to create a system that would use computers and networks so human knowledge would be accessible for human needs and feedback would be automatic for machine purposes. This system contained three components, the corpus of knowledge, the question, and the answer. Licklider called it a procognitive system.
Early projects centered on the creation of an electronic card catalogue known as Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). By the 1980s, the success of these endeavors resulted in OPAC replacing the traditional card catalog in many academic, public and special libraries. This permitted libraries to undertake additional rewarding co-operative efforts to support resource sharing and expand access to library materials beyond an individual library.
An early example of a digital library is the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) which was "born digital" in 1966.
In 1994, digital libraries became popular due to the $24.4 million that the U.S. federal funded among six universities for research. The universities included Carnegie Mellon University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of California-Santa Barbara, and the Stanford University.