Publically launched in April 2009, the World Digital Library (WDL) is easily the most exciting e-learning tool on the web. It exemplifies what Web 3.0 is about and its power to transcend geographical boundaries and reach global audiences promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
Developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress in partnership with UNESCO, WDL makes available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The digital library contains materials from over two-dozen libraries around the world, searchable in 7 different languages. The library will continue to add content and will be the largest collection of the world’s cultural riches that would tell the stories and highlight the achievements of all countries and cultures.
The digital library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site. One of its many exciting features includes multiple forms of search and browsing capabilities that allows items to be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities.
Home Page – Interactive Search Browser
The library’s cultural treasures include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings and more. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.
Even with its current limited range of resources, it can easily be seen that the library has the potential to transform teaching – learning in a classroom. The variety of literary resources that will be available to seekers of information can have wide implications for collaborative learning (including international collaborative learning between grades) and in bringing multiculturalism and the real world into the classroom.
Thank you Nancy, for bringing this to our attention.