April 6, 2009

Worldwide Digital Library To Launch In April

A website that will offer free access to rare books, maps, manuscripts, films and photographs from across the globe called The World Digital Library is set to launch April 21 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The site's cultural content from libraries and archives worldwide will be available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and will also include material in additional languages.

The project, which was launched by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and 32 partner institutions, was developed by the world's biggest library, the U.S. Library of Congress.

Libraries and cultural institutions from Brazil, Britain, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have contributed both content and expertise to the project to digitize priceless cultural material and make it available on the Internet.

The World Digital Library was the brainchild of James Billington, Librarian of Congress, who attended the launch of a prototype website for the project in Paris in October 2007.


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