As a strong believer in open digital libraries, free to all, I am excited about the news that the eagerly anticipated World Digital Library will open its virtual doors on April 21, 2009.
The World Digital Library will make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research.
According to The History News Network, the project is “the brainchild of James Billington, from the US’s Library of Congress, the project has been developed by Unesco and the Library of Congress, along with 32 other partners from around the world, including national libraries from Iraq, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Uganda.”
To learn more about how the site was created, what will be included and how you will be able to use it, visit the World Digital Library website – and be sure to watch the video.