NARA joins World Digital Library project

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has joined the Library of Congress in the ongoing development of an online library that will make historical and cultural documents from around the word available online.

The World Digital Library project is a partnership of libraries, universities and associations worldwide that are working to provide access, free of charge and in multilingual format, to primary documents considered important by different cultures. Officials hope to use the library to promote international understanding.

NARA announced the partnership July 16 and will contribute digital versions of significant U.S. documents that include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and naturalization and immigration records of famous Americans.

Other partners in the digital library's development include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the national libraries of Russia, Israel, Brazil, Egypt, Serbia and Iraq.

The Library of Congress has been leading the project's planning and development, which is being underwritten with a gift from Google. Officials are planning for the library to come online in early 2009.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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