On the heels of success with the American Memory project and agreements with the National Library of Egypt, James H. Billington, U.S. Librarian of Congress, initially proposed the idea for a World Digital Library in June 2005, during an address at the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Now, thanks to the co-operation of several national libraries and various cultural institutions, the first version of WDL launched April 21, 2009.  Search the interface in seven languages, and browse by 
  • Place
  • Time 
  • Topic 
  • Type of Item 
  • Institution
  •   Expect lots of traffic on the first few days, but this video offers a sneak peek.

    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.

    (An earlier version of this entry appeared in the GDSJBlog; entry updated 4/21/09)