World Digital Library, The Most Promising Digital Library
The platform hosts hundreds of libraries, all available in seven languages and completely free of charge.
We have already dedicated an article to the eight best digital libraries, in which the wonderful World Digital Library occupied first place for one particular reason: it is the digital library that contains more libraries within it. The project was dreamed up by James Billington and developed by UNESCO and the US Library of Congress, together with the national libraries of Iraq, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. In other words, it is a vast den that houses the little that was left after the fire in Alexandria and the enormous quantity that has been produced since. And if it is not that already, that is its aim. And it is completely free.
World Digital Library functions in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – and includes additional content in several other languages. The digital archive also includes an exquisite collection of rare books, maps, films, manuscripts and recordings, and the user can search by place, time, topic and type of article (from musical scores, prints, photographs and architecture plans, to podcasts and videos). Look at, for example, this 19th century Qu’ran, written in Nashki script and considered one of the most beautiful of its time.
And while the library’s aims are to promote universal understanding, its real achievement has been expanding digital content into other languages other than English (which until now has not left much space for the rest). We highly recommend a virtual tour through its generous archives.
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