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THE NEW MEDIA CENTER: The World Digital Library--Global Primary Resources Just a Click Away

By Mary Alice Anderson - Posted Mar 1, 2013
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“Is there anything I can use for world history and cultures?”

Teachers and media specialists looking for digital primary resources representing world history and cultures will be excited to learn about a growing collection of significant, multilingual resources accessible through the World Digital Library (WDL). Convenient, easy access begins at the Library of Congress website ( or directly at

The World Digital Library is a partnership between the Library of Congress and more than 150 libraries, museums, foundations, and diverse cultural organizations throughout the world. WDL’s principal objectives are as follows:

• Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the internet

• Promote international and intercultural understanding

• Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences

• Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries

The launch page world map has thumbnails representing nine geographic regions. Each image invites browsing through thousands of manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. (See Figure 1.) The largest group, more than 3,000 primary source artifacts, represents European cultures and history. More than 1,400 items represent the Latin American and Caribbean regions. Collections from other regions vary from hundreds of significant artifacts to less than 100.

Getting Started


This article is available in its entirety in a variety of formats — Preview (free), Full Text, Text+Graphics, and Page Image PDF — on a pay-to-view basis, courtesy of ITI's InfoCentral. CLICK HERE.

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