Research in Humanities and Social Sciences is traditionally based on printed publications such as manuscripts, personal correspondence, first editions and other types of documents which are often difficult to obtain. An important step to facilitate humanities and social sciences scholarship is to make digital reproductions of these materials freely available on-line. The collection of resources available on-line is continuously expanding. It is now required to develop tools to access these resources in an intelligent way and search them as if they were part of a unique information space. In this paper we present Talia, a innovative distributed semantic digital library, annotation and publishing system, which is specifically designed for the needs of scholarly research in humanities. Talia is strictly based on standard Semantic Web technologies and uses ontologies for the organization of knowledge, which can help the definition of a highly adaptable and state-of-the-art research and publishing environment. Talia provides an innovative and flexible system which enables data interoperability and new paradigms for information enrichment, data-retrieval and navigation. Moreover, digital libraries powered by Talia can be joined into a federation, to create a distributed peer-to-peer network of interconnected libraries. In the first three paragraphs we will introduce the motivations and the background that led to the development of Talia. In paragraphs 4 and 5 we will describe the Talia’s architecture and the Talia Federation. In paragraphs 6 and 7 we will focus on Talia’s specialized features for the Humanities Domain and its relations with the Discovery Project.In paragraph 9 we will describe Talia’s widget framework and how it can be used to customize Talia for other domains. In the final paragraph we will compare Talia with related technologies and platforms and suggest some possible future research and development ideas.