The World Digital Library (WDL) 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.
Experience the technologies that will put visitors in touch with cultural heritage collections from around the world (Click the video link and you will be inspired!)
- Promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness;
- Provide resources to educators;
- Expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet; and
- Contribute to scholarly research.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed the establishment of a World Digital Library (WDL) in a speech to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in June 2005. The Library of Congress is currently engaged in a planning process to determine how this vision can be realized. Participants in the planning process include national libraries and other libraries and cultural institutions from around the world that have expressed interest in joining the project, as well as UNESCO and IFLA. The planning process is being underwritten by a gift from Google, Inc.
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina
- International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
- The Library of Congress
- National Library of Brazil
- National Library and Archives of Egypt
- National Library of Russia
- Russian State Library
Since they are inviting other libraries, archives, museums, etc. around the world to participate, I suppose we will be seeing many more juicy partners joining in the near future.
Although, we only have the visionary video to enjoy for now, I certainly hope and believe this will be a successful project. Having Google onboard the team certainly increases the possibility of success, though it would also be great to see MSN and Yahoo getting involved. Yes, it would be great to see these three Search Giants (or Three Musketeers) working together on such a massive and noble project :)