Question: Where have libraries and archives from around the world come together in a project to share their collections of rare books, maps, films, manuscripts and recordings online for free?
Answer: The World Digital Library
This is the part of the launch announcement as shown from today’s front page.
The World Digital Library will launch on April 21, 2009.
The World Digital Library will 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. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research.
The World Digital Library has stated its objectives are to promote international understanding, to expand non-English and non-western content online, as well as to contribute to research and education. James H Billington, from the US’s Library of Congress, said, when he proposed the idea in June 2005, that it would “hold out the promise of bringing people closer together precisely by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking”.
I can’t wait to begin browsing.