Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"World Digital Library Planned: Library of Congress Envisions Collection To Bridge Cultures"

Read the article by David A. Vise in today's Washington Post.

"The Library of Congress is launching a campaign today to create the World Digital Library, an online collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, posters, stamps and other materials from its holdings and those of other national libraries that would be freely accessible for viewing by anyone, anywhere with Internet access.
Main Building Library of Congress

"This is the most ambitious international effort ever undertaken to put precious items of artistic, historical, and literary significance on the Internet so that people can learn about other cultures without traveling further than the nearest computer, according to James H. Billington, head of the Library of Congress......

"Google co-founder and President Sergey Brin said in an interview that he and Billington began discussions roughly one year ago about ways for the Library of Congress and Google to team up. Brin said he became intrigued after seeing a range of "beautiful" items in the Library of Congress collection during private meetings with Billington.......

"Brin and Billington said Google would only digitize materials from the Library of Congress that are in the public domain and therefore not subject to copyright protection.

"Brin said he will help raise additional private funds to finance the World Digital Library. Billington said the $3 million gift from Google will be used over the next few years to develop the details of the project and pay for global outreach.

"'Working with UNESCO, we want to encourage other countries to make use of our experiences in developing their own digitization projects,' Billington said."

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