Imagine a library where you could find every occurrence of a given word without turning a single page. Where a thought in one book leads directly to a related thought in another. Where every book could be turned inside out, so its information appears in whatever order it's needed.

Those are just a few of the advantages you would enjoy if you were to visit a Digital Library - something that's built into every NeXT Computer.

The Digital Library is a means of storing, accessing and using information that goes far beyond the physical limitations of books. It's made possible by two NeXT innovations.

The first is the optical drive, which easily provides storage on the scale needed to store a "library" of books. The second is a powerful new cataloging and searching software called Digital Librarian.

As you'll find as you read further, the optical disk that ships with the NeXT Computer contains an unprecedented number of programs and resources - including the fully functional Digital Library. The books that comprise this library were chosen primarily to give you an idea of the power of a book in digital form.

There's Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, which includes all the definitions, pronunciations, etymologies and illustrations you grew accustomed to in your analog years. All the original typefaces are intact (you can set your preference to any size you'd like), so it all appears quite dictionary-like. But in the digital dictionary you'll find that listings are much more understandable. Different definitions appear on separate lines, and you view each listing outside the traditional sea of small dictionary type. The dictionary is linked with Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus, which is every bit as complete. So when you look up a word, you have the option of seeing its dictionary listing, its thesaurus listing or both.

Also included are The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and William Shakespeare: The Complete Works.

You're hardly limited, though by the books included on the NeXT optical disk.  Other companies will soon be making available their own additions to the Digital Library.  Dow Jones, for example, is already demonstrating a digital edition of The Wall Street Journal.  Accessible via disk (a single optical disk stores an entire year of Journal articles) or direct connection, this resource will let you locate any article with just a few keystrokes.

Type in a key word, such as a person or a company, and in seconds you see a list of all the articles containing that word - any of which can be summoned with one click.  You can narrow your search by typing more than one word, in which case only articles containing all of your key words will appear.

The NeXT System also makes it easy to create your own libraries. The Digital Librarian's cataloging function lets you enter large amounts of information, while automatically creating an index of key words for you. This index then allows you to search your own information - a new "book" in the Digital Library - the same way you would search the dictionary.

As for the kinds of Digital Libraries you can create, there are no limitations.  Professors, for example, might build libraries containing a history of their own collected writings.  A legal or medical office might construct a library of often used reference materials, while a business might build a reference library of contracts and forms.

A personalized Digital Library is an immensely powerful tool. Yet, thanks to the Digital Librarian, the process of creating one is accessible to everyone.