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Volume Heft 11

Full text: Bibliotheksdienst (Rights reserved) Issue 41.2007 (Rights reserved)

Notizen Bibliotheksdienst 41. Jg. (2007), H. 11 1191 Notizen Library of Congress and UNESCO Sign World Digital Library Agreement 17. October 2007. Librarian of Congress James h. Billington and UNESCO Assistant Director for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan signed an ag- reement at UNESCO headquarters in Paris pledging cooperative efforts to build a World Digital Library Web site. The World Digital Library will digitize unique and rare materials from libraries and other cultural institutions around the world and make them available for free on the Internet. These materials will include manuscripts, maps, books, musical scores, sound recordings, films, prints and photographs. The objectives of the World Digital Library include promoting international and intercultural under- standing, increasing the quantity and diversity of cultural materials on the Inter- net, and contributing to education and scholarship. Under the terms of the agreement, the Library of Congress and UNESCO will co- operate in convening working groups of experts and other stakeholders to de- velop guidelines and technical specifications for the project, enlist new partners and secure the necessary support for the project from private and public sources. A key aspect of the project is to build digital library capabilities in the developing world, so that all countries and regions of the world can participate and be repre- sented in the World Digital Library. To test the feasibility of the project, the Library of Congress, UNESCO and five other partner institutions – the Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Alexandria, Egypt; the National Library of Brazil; the National Library of Egypt; the National Library of Russia; and the Russian State Library – have developed a prototype of the World Digital Library. The prototype is being demonstrated to national delegations at the UNESCO General Conference currently underway. The World Digital Library will become available to the public as a full-fledged Web site in late 2008 or early 2009. The prototype functions in the six U.N. languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, plus Portuguese – and features search and browse functionality by place, time, topic and contributing institution. Input into the de- sign of the prototype was solicited through a consultative process that involved UNESCO, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and individuals and institutions in more than 40 countries. Additional information about the World Digital Library can be found at www.worlddigitallibrary.org.
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