As we move into the new millennium it is difficult not to fall into a predictive state of mind. To do this effectively, one needs to look back in order to look forwards in any informed manner. What follows then is a view of the role of the digital library couched in terms of an examination and explication of the part of such a library that I have built at the University of Virginia. The Electronic Text Center, by now a mature service and an ingrained part of our library system, works well as a testing ground for larger digital library issues and definitions. We are variously partners, publishers, researchers into issues and librarians serving a user group which is rapidly diversifying and whose expectations rise constantly. As I look to our achievements and ambitions, and to those of colleagues in other digital libraries, I see the potentials greatly outweighing the pitfalls in the fledgling digital libraries and electronic publishing houses, but both exist in abundance.