The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog reported today (4/21/2009) that:
In the latest and perhaps broadest effort to provide instant access to scholarly resources, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization today inaugurated its World Digital Library, a Web site that allows visitors to browse through a trove of artifacts spanning the history of civilization.
The site, four years in the making, brings together historical manuscripts along with secondary literature describing them—translated into seven different languages. The library includes scanned documents from 27 libraries in 19 countries so far, including a manuscript from ancient Japan that is believed to be the first novel ever. James H. Billington, the U.S. librarian of Congress, who heads the project, says all countries are welcome to contribute. The idea is to use Web technology to put all of mankind’s most precious artifacts in a single, shared repository. —Steve Kolowich
Check it out! The site includes documents ranging from the Analects of Confucius to the Declaration of Independence, with a beautiful and easily navigated web site.