Library Of Congress Proposes World Digital Library; Google Provides First $3 Million In Funds
The Library of Congress has been working towards digital preservation for 15 years, starting with the prescient American Memory collection. This proposal for a World Digital Library builds on the effort of the last five years to launch bilnigual, binational digitization projects with other countries; Russia, Brazil, Spain, France and the Netherlands along with the U.S. have made material available for any user. A more recent agreement between the LoC and the Library of Egypt, descendant of the grand library of Alexandria, enhances the global; potential to preserve and share material across the world. The idea, as James H. Billington, librarian of Congress, explains it: "to harness technology to bring scattered primary materials of the varied cultures into consolidated Web sites for each culture ... created primarily with and by the people of the respective regions."
Google, which has its own fascination with digitizing libraries, is the first donor with $3 million; other donors for the public-private project are being sought.