World Digital Library Will Potentially Become The Largest Collection of Primary Materials
This digital collection has long term potential for facilitating cross cultural understanding.
Introduction (Via Long Now)
The World Digital Library site launched in April of this year by the Library of Congress and several other national archives, libraries and other partner institutions. Most impressively is that the interface to the data is not only spatial – a world map- but also uses a timeline… a 10,000 year timeline. The collection currently only has about 1100 items, but each has extensive normalized meta-data in 7 major world languages. Producing meta-data at this level is quite difficult but will indeed be very valuable over the long haul. Hopefully it wont provide too large a barrier to getting more data into the repository. They launched the effort with some extremely high value items, and are taking a very top down meta-data approach (as opposed to something like Wikipedia that allows the masses to annotate
Mission Of The World Digital Library
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 principal objectives of the WDL are to:
1. Promote international and intercultural understanding;
2. Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
3. Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
4. Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.