Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Library puts history's World Digital Library Launched April 21st, 2009

April 21st, 2009
World Digital Library Launched today http://www.wdl.org/


The World Digital LibrarySupported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and U.S. Library of Congresshttp://www.wdl.org/


Press contact: Matt Raymond, Library of Congress, +1 (202) 707-0020
Press contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO, +33 (0)1 45 68 16 50
Public contact: John Van Oudenaren,
Library of Congress, +1 (202) 707-4345
Website: World Digital LibraryTo Media: A press room for this event is available.


April 21, 2009
Library of Congress, UNESCO and Partners Launch World Digital Library
http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2009/09-082.html


Paris, Washington D.C.—The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and 32 partner institutions today launched the World Digital Library, a website that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world. The site―located at http://www.wdl.org/―includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints and photographs. It provides unrestricted public access, free of charge, to this material.


The launch took place at UNESCO Headquarters at an event co-hosted by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Directors of the partner institutions were on hand to present the project to ambassadors, ministers, delegates and special guests attending the semi-annual meeting of UNESCO’s Executive Board.


Billington first proposed the creation of a World Digital Library (WDL) to UNESCO in 2005, remarking that such a project could "have the salutary effect of bringing people together by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking." Matsuura welcomed the proposal as a "great initiative that will help to bridge the knowledge divide, promote mutual understanding and foster cultural and linguistic diversity." In addition to promoting international understanding, the project aims to expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences and narrow the digital divide within and between countries by building capacity in partner countries.


The World Digital Library functions in seven languages―Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish―and includes content in more than 40 languages. Browse and search features facilitate cross-cultural and cross-temporal exploration on the site. Descriptions of each item and videos, with expert curators speaking about selected items, provide context for users and are intended to spark curiosity and encourage both students and the general public to learn more about the cultural heritage of all countries.


The World Digital Library was developed by a team at the Library of Congress. Technical assistance was provided by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Alexandria, Egypt. Institutions contributing to the WDL include national libraries and cultural and educational institutions in Brazil, Egypt, China, France, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.


"UNESCO welcomes the creation of the World Digital Library which reflects the values and priorities of our organization," Matsuura declared. "WDL offers an invaluable platform for the free flow of information, for international solidarity, for the celebration of cultural diversity and for the building of inclusive knowledge societies. With projects like the Digital Library, the cultural and societal potential of digital technologies come into their own."
"We are honored to be working with so many great libraries in this venture," said Billington, "and thankful for the strong support that UNESCO has given to this project. What we launched today is a first step. We look forward to seeing this project realize its ambition to bring people together, deepen our understanding of each other, and help electronically oriented young people enjoy what is best in traditional culture, using the new media."


Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, congratulated UNESCO and the partner institutions on the launch of the WDL, and stated that "Qatar is very proud to be a founding member of this remarkable international collaboration." Her Highness noted that "universal education is the key to international understanding," and "this endeavour will do much to develop the appreciation of other cultures and nations."


The National Library of China (NLC) contributed manuscripts, maps, books, and rubbings of steles and oracle bones that span the range of Chinese history from ancient to modern times. "The World Digital Library project offers a brand-new platform for showcasing the diversity of the world's civilizations," said Dr. Furui Zhan, Chief Librarian of the NLC. "This endeavour enables cultural exchange while bringing together different countries and peoples in mutual understanding and enrichment. The spirit of equality and open understanding comes into full view with the creation of this World Digital Library. The National Library of China is ready to work in close cooperation with the World Digital Library, continuing to promote in concert the prosperity and progress of all human civilizations."


Examples of other treasures featured include Arabic scientific manuscripts from the National Library and Archives of Egypt; early photographs of Latin America from the National Library of Brazil; the "Hyakumanto darani," a publication from A.D. 764 from the National Diet Library of Japan; the famous 13th century "Devil’s Bible" from the National Library of Sweden; and works of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish calligraphy from the collections of the Library of Congress.


Ahead of the launch, Matsuura invited UNESCO member states to encourage their cultural institutions to participate in the development of the project. He noted that their participation would contribute to a truly universal digital library that showcases the cultural heritage and achievements of all countries. Matsuura also highlighted the synergies between this initiative and UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program, noting that the WDL should help provide public access to digital versions of collections on the Memory of the World register.


One of UNESCO’s main mandates is to promote the free flow of all forms of knowledge in education, science, culture and communication. The organization therefore promotes education, research and exchanges through the improved and increased availability of content on the Internet. To this end, it collaborates with a number of partners on the creation of digital and other repositories.


Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich international resources will be available through the World Digital Library at http://www.wdl.org/, while other resources can be found at the Library’s main website, http://www.loc.gov/ and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at myLOC.gov.
# # #
PR 09-08204/21/09 ISSN 0731-3527


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.N. launches World Digital Library
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2009/04/un-launches-world-digital-library.html

Earlier today the United Nations launched the World Digital Library, featuring historic books, maps, recordings and other artifacts from many of the great institutions around the globe.


The free collection includes a Japanese work from the 11th century that is considered the first novel in history. Other item include the earliest map to mention America, the Aztecs' first mention of the Christ child in the New World and the works of Arab scholars illuminating the principles of algebra. The materials are translated into seven languages — English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Portuguese — and include expert commentary.


"This is a truly international undertaking," said U.S. Librarian of Congress James Billington, who proposed the project four years ago. The library is partnering with UNESCO.


Here's the LOC's news release.


The New York Times and The Washington Post have details.
(This early-16th-century map, by Martin Waldseemüller, contains one of the earliest uses of the name “America,” lower left. Image via the World Digital Library.)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.undispatch.com/node/8105
A globe-spanning U.N. digital library seeking to display and explain the relics of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet for the first time, serving up mankind's accumulated knowledge in seven languages for students around the world.


“The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The World Digital Library (WDL)
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Digital_Library


The World Digital Library (WDL) is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.The WDL has stated that its mission is to promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences, and to build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.[1] It aims to expand non-English and non-western content on the Internet, and contribute to scholarly research. The library intends to 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.[2][3][4]As of launch, the library has 1,170 items, and the interface is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish .[5]


History and concept
After almost twenty years of absence, the United States re-established its permanent delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003. Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, was nominated as a commissioner of the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO and was invited to give a plenary speech at its inaugural conference in June 2005. His speech, entitled A View of the Digital World Library, described a vision in which the rich collections that "institutions, libraries, and museums have preserved could be given back to the world free of charge and in a new form far more universally accessible than any forms that have preceded it."Google Inc. became the first partner of this public-private partnership and donated $3 million to support development of the World Digital Library in 2005.[6]


At the National Commission's 2006 annual conference, Dr. John Van Oudenaren, Senior Advisor for the World Digital Library at the Library of Congress, outlined a project plan for bringing Dr. Billington’s vision to fruition. Foremost was the belief that the World Digital Library should engage partners in planning the four main project areas: technical architecture, selection, governance, and funding. This was achieved in December 2006, when forty-five national library directors, library technical directors, and cultural and educational representatives from UNESCO met in Paris to discuss the development of the World Digital Library. The participants formed working groups to address the special challenges of each of the four project areas.The working groups met in the first half of 2007 and included professionals in the field of digital libraries – including, but not limited to computer science, library and information science, Web development, and fundraising. The working groups presented their findings to the larger WDL group in July 2007. Findings from this planning process were presented at the thirty-fourth session of the UNESCO General Conference in October 2007 in Paris, France.In early September 2008, the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed to join with the Library of Congress in developing the World Digital Library. Secretary General José Miguel Insulza signed the "Contributor Agreement" with Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, at an OAS headquarters ceremony.The World Digital Library was launched on April 21, 2009 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.[8][9]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
World Digital Library launched in Paris













A man (L) looks at a computer screen to experience the newly-launched World Digital Library at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, on April 21, 2009. The UNESCO held a ceremony on Tuesday to launch the World Digital Library, a website offering free access to rare books, maps, manuscripts, films and photographs from libraries and archives across the globe. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)













A man looks at a computer screen to experience the newly-launched World Digital Library at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, on April 21, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)



Photo taken on April 21, 2009 shows a computer screen showing a Chinese e-book of the newly-launched World Digital Library at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France.(Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
World Digital Library Launches
by Nicole Kidder
source :


On April 21, the Library of Congress, UNESCO and 32 partner institutions will launch the World Digital Library, a website that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world.


The new site will provide unrestricted, free access to manuscripts, maps, musical scores, rare books, films, architectural drawings sound recordings, prints and photographs in dozens of languages. Digital versions of such historical documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War photographs, as well as naturalization and immigration records of famous Americans will be included on the website.


“The mission of the National Archives is to make U.S. government records widely accessible,” explained Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. “The World Digital Library will be a valuable conduit for us to share some of our nation’s treasures with others around the world. We look forward to working with the Library of Congress on this important project.”The search engine is available in seven languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Searches can be conducted by place, time, topic, type of item and contributing institution.Many of the rich international resources included in the Library of Congress, which was founded in 1800, will be available through the online library. Other contributors include the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Library of Brazil, the National Library and Archives of Egypt and the National Library of Russia.


In addition to promoting international understanding, the project aims to expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars and general audiences, as well as narrow the digital divide within and between countries.The four-year long project was first proposed by Dr. Billington, who believes the online library can “have the salutary effect of bringing people together by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking.” In 2007, he told the Washington Post that the site has “an enormous educational potential” and noted that the content is being designed particularly with children in mind in order to share stories of other cultures, as well as teach them critical thinking skills.


The World Digital Library has also extended an invitation to libraries, archives, museums and other institutions that are interested in becoming partners. Prospective partners may be able to contribute collections to the library, provide surveys of the existing projects and help develop proposals to build capacity. Interested organization should contact the World Digital Library planning team.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


World Digital Library Opens in Paris
By Lisa Bryant Paris21 April 2009


An Internet library aimed to be accessible to surfers around the world is now on line, with its formal inauguration in Paris on Tuesday. This is the latest in growing international efforts to digitalize our cultural heritage.
US Library of Congress played key role
Known as the World Digital Library - and accessible at www.wdl.org - the project is the fruit of contributions from libraries and institutions from 19 countries.
It was developed by the Library of Congress in Washington - with the help of the Alexandria Library in Egypt. It was launched at the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This is not the first international digital information project. Google launched a book project in 2004 and the European Union launched its own world digital library, last November.
Users can access extensive variety of materials


What will the new UNESCO library offer? A treasure trove of books, maps, manuscripts and films from around the world, in seven different languages - with additional material in other languages. It aims to bridge a cultural divide not only by offering people in poorer countries the same access to knowledge as those in richer ones - but also by making available the cultural heritage of non-Western nations.
"Libraries have already been centers for information and knowledge," UNESCO's assistant director-general for communication and information, Abdul Waheed Khan explained. "So the fundamental principle to universal access to information and knowledge is largely meant by digitizing the content and making these contents freely available to every part of the world."
The library is beginning modestly, with about 1,200 documents available. It is designed to have unlimited information on store.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The U.N.'s World Digital Library
By Frances Romero Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2009
The Gist:
Four years ago, U.S. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed the establishment of an online forum that would allow libraries and museums across the globe to share valuable cultural and educational data with anyone who had access to the Internet. On April 21, UNESCO and the Library of Congress officially unveiled its $60 million joint effort to do just that. With funding from sources including King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia and the Carnegie Corporation in New York, more than two dozen institutions contributed content that covers nearly 200 countries. The result is the World Digital Library: a compendium of some 1,200 high-resolution digitized files that allows users to zoom in on ancient documents and archival photographs. The Library also contains a sophisticated search tool that allows users to browse by keywords, time period, place, type of item and the institution which contributed it. Finally, it provides descriptions of all materials in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish — the official languages of the United Nations), though many of the documents, books and other components appear in their original languages.


Highlight Reel:
Books, Journals, Documents: The database contains some old favorites, like the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights as well the constitutions of numerous countries. There are also gems like the first printed edition of the 16th-century Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, and a journal kept by a Venetian scholar who accompanied Ferdinand Magellan on his voyage around the world. If English is more your speed, try the translation of a French voyager's tour of the Indian Ocean — maybe a safer trip than it is today.


Photographs: Photography is the strong suit of this collection with images ranging from a photo-panoramic view of Constantinople to a photo of George H.W. Bush as a senior on the Yale baseball team meeting Babe Ruth in 1948 to a photo of a traditional Chinese bride.


Audio/Video: Multimedia options are a little bit more difficult to come by, but some impressive ones stand out including one of the earliest recordings of "Amazing Grace" and the Marseillaise. For visual stimulation, try a late 19th-century short film of a Holy Week procession in Spain from the great Lumière brothers. (See TIME's pictures of modern-day Holy Week)


The Lowdown
While the artifacts themselves are well-presented and engrossing, it's hard to see how this promising collection of primary sources can avoid competing with the likes of Google and Wikipedia for readers who don't need to read Genji in the original Japanese. A similar Library of Congress archive was established back in the 90s, making a big splash at first but eventually falling to the wayside. Still, the World Digital Library has been mostly created with students in mind, who are most likely to find its mix of primary sources useful — so long as they actually know it exists. For most of people, though, the Digital Library will likely be more of a thing to admire at leisure, when maybe visiting the museum or institution that houses a rare manuscript would be more time-consuming than clicking on an image and zooming to the parts that seem most interesting. Here's to hoping digitizing history and artifacts doesn't do what the advent of new media has done to print.


The Verdict: Skim


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More..
rris: Where to look in a limitless library?
Independent - ‎Apr 22, 2009‎
When, in his 1941 story The Library Of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges lampooned the concept of ordering the world and all its knowledge into one "library" ...


Wealth of human knowledge just a mouse click away
The Age - ‎Apr 22, 2009‎
The World Digital Library puts historic documents at our fingertips, Edward Cody reports from Paris. A GLOBE-SPANNING United Nations digital library seeking ...


MOFA regrets Taiwan's barring from digital library inauguration
eTaiwan News - ‎Apr 22, 2009‎
Taipei, April 22 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret Wednesday over a Taiwanese representative being prevented from entering the ...
World Digital Library putting human history a click away


Chicago Tribune - ‎Apr 22, 2009‎
By Edward Cody The Washington Post PARIS — A globe-spanning UN digital library seeking to display and explain the wealth of all human cultures has gone ...


The UN's World Digital Library
TIME - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
By Frances Romero Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2009 Four years ago, US Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed the establishment of an online forum that ...


World Briefing Europe France: A Library Not Averse to Noise
New York Times - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
By ERIC PFANNER About 1250 books, maps, artworks and other cultural items went on worldwide display Tuesday with the opening of an international online ...


Library puts history's greatest hits within easy reach
Irish Times - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
Online users get to grips with the World Digital Library in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Jacques Brinon/AP THE US librarian of Congress and the director ...































Reactions:

1 comments:

Contact Me

Snap & Read with QRCODE Reader

http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/