Ole friend and Internet radio man, Carl Malamud presents his ideas about making government resources truly public in a presentation at the UC-Berkeley I-School (as linked to from Lessig.org). And he describes his Public.Resource.org projects entertainingly and well.
Fred Stutzman draws on his online campaign experiences with Clark and Kerry as he comments in a Boston Globe article “On specialized websites, candidates home in”
All of them have digital library challenges that are very very similar. How to represent calligraphed scripts that run in a variety of directions. How to handle fragile materials. How to describe the materials well enough to find them but sparse enough to be able to get the works processed within budget. How to federate work projects. How to choose metadata elements and how to deploy them effectively. How to represent the original object as an image and as searchable strings. How to use non-English characters in metadata effectively.
This after discussions with folks independently working on projects in the Nam characters, in Arabic, in Mongolian, in Slavic languages and in the antebellum South. Part of the trick to getting to a solution is to see where the problem sets overlap and where the solutions need to be independent and local.
Still thinking about all of this but at the same time putting the principals in touch with each other.