Library of Congress Launches World Digital Library Initiative

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 22, 2005

Library of Congress press release: “Google Is First Private-Sector Partner with Funding of $3 Million. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin announced today that Google is the first private-sector company to contribute to the Library’s initiative to develop a plan to begin building a World Digital Library (WDL) for use by other libraries around the globe. The effort would be supported by funds from nonexclusive, public and private partnerships, of which Google is the first. The concept for the WDL came from a speech that Billington delivered to the newly established U.S. National Commission for UNESCO on June 6, 2005, at Georgetown University.”
Related news and links:

  • Washington Post op-ed, A Library for The New World, by James H. Billington: “Libraries are inherently islands of freedom and antidotes to fanaticism. They are temples of pluralism where books that contradict one another stand peacefully side by side just as intellectual antagonists work peacefully next to each other in reading rooms. It is legitimate and in our nation’s interest that the new technology be used internationally, both by the private sector to promote economic enterprise and by the public sector to promote democratic institutions.”
  • The Library of Congress American Memory historical collections
  • A Man’s Vision: World Library Online – Brewster Kahle hopes to realize his 25-year dream of an international book archive
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