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World Digital Library Home
"Search 13,128 items about 193 countries between 8000 BCE and 2000 CE:"

"The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.

The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.

The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

• Promote international and intercultural understanding;
• Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
• Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
• Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.


This Site

The WDL makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures and significant historical documents on one site, in a variety of ways. Content on the WDL includes books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films.

WDL items can be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, language, and contributing institution. The search feature can be used to search all of the metadata and descriptions and the full text of printed books on the site.

Each item on the WDL is accompanied by an item-level description that explains its significance and historical context. Additional information about selected items is provided by curator videos. Other features include advanced image-viewing, timelines, interactive maps, and in-depth thematic sections on selected topics (in preparation).

All navigation tools, bibliographic information (also known as metadata), and content descriptions are provided in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Metadata and descriptions can be listened to on a text-to-voice conversion option that is available for every item in all seven interface languages.

Content on the WDL is selected by partner institutions in accordance with guidelines set by the WDL Content Selection Committee. Content is chosen for its cultural and historical importance, with due regard to recognition of the achievements of all countries and cultures over a wide range of time periods.

Books, manuscripts, maps, and other primary materials on the site are not translated but presented in their original languages. More than 100 languages are represented on the WDL, including many lesser known and endangered languages."
libraryofcongress  loc  libraries  archives  books  digital  via:senongo  maps  timlines  edl  unesco  history  resources  reference  manuscripts  primarysources 
february 2016 by robertogreco
disembodying the past to preserve it | Wynken de Worde
"The Library of Aleph is a twitter account that tweets the captions of prints and photographs in the Library of Congress’s digital collections. The tweets are nothing more than the captions—no images themselves, no links to them. Just the captions, with occasional reminders that anyone can find these images by searching the Library of Congress. Here’s one tweet: “House burning during Groveland reign of terror—Negroes driven from homes throughout area.” Here’s a screenshot of the corresponding record:

[image]

The Library of Aleph’s tweetstream the day after the verdict of George Zimmeran’s trial was announced was a relentless account of the history of African-Americans, from slavery through Jim Crow through the Civil Rights Movement. The person who created The Library of Aleph hadn’t created it for this purpose—it was really an account he put together to tweet out some of the interesting images he was finding without cluttering up his main account. But in his anger after the verdict, it became a platform for remembering and reliving our past.2

I bring it up here because of this paradox: what makes the tweets so powerful is that they are disconnected from the material object they’re referencing. They’re just captions. We might gloss over images but I think we pause over these. What are we reading? Who wrote the captions? What does it mean to choose these words to describe these images?

I love the way @libraryofaleph connects the past to the present and the present to the past. Things that speak to us today can speak to what spoke to us in the past, and digital technologies can bring them together. But what I really take out of this in terms of what cultural heritage organizations can do with digital tools to preserve our past is that this is an account that came not from the Library of Congress, but from an unaffiliated user. The Library of Congress did all the hard work in collecting these works, in digitizing them, in creating their metadata, in making them discoverable, and then in making it open so that somebody else could do with it something powerful.

And it’s that that cultural organizations need to think about in the use of the digital objects we are creating. We need to make them open so that other people can do things with them that it would never occur to us to do ourselves. Preserve your data, create your metadata carefully, and then release it. Make it open so that it can be used, so that we can learn from it, and so that it can continue to be discovered by future users."
history  technology  archives  sarahwerner  charlieloyd  libraryofaleph  loc  libraryofcongress  twitter  culture  heritage  objects  digitalobjects  2013  books  digitalpreservation 
july 2013 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] verb impostors
"what would it mean for the Library of Congress to run Parallel Flickr or something like it? What would it mean for the Library not simply archive its own photos (which, I'll grant you, would be a bit of a circular argument) but to find all the other users who've ever interacted with their photos and – as an opt-in – offer to archive their photos as well. What if you extended that offer to all the contacts of those people as well?

It means that although the Library hasn't quite figured out how to archive all of Flickr but it can start to capture the context, and the people, who have crossed paths with the Library's photos.

But there's an important twist in this: That for as long as Flickr's login service can be considered reliable and trustworthy the Library pledges to honour the permissions model of those photos. And the moment there is any question about permissions any photos that aren't already public go dark and the so-called 70-year clock kicks in. At the end of those 70 years all of those public are placed in to the public domain.

There's a explicit contract here which is that the Library promises to preserve the permissions model in the present in exchange for a person gifting that present to the future. My hunch is that people would be lined up around the block to participate."

Finally because Parallel Flickr goes out of its way to mirror both the ID and URL structure of Flickr itself if means that two separate instances can be easily merged. What that means is that two institutions can each tackle the problem of archiving something the size of Flickr in managable bites, separately with an institutional focus, and merge their work as time and circumstances permit and to try and think through what it means to re-grow a network that big organically.

But some time around 2008 the then-and-current head of the NSA asked, reasonably enough it should be added, "Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?" and so now we have among many others like it the Utah Data Center located just across the field from the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Garden and Golf Club in Bluffdale Utah. This is, we're told, where all the signals will live.

I mention this because it exposes a fairly uncomfortable new reality for those of us in the cultural heritage "business": That we are starting to share more in common with agencies like the NSA than anyone quite knows how to conceptualize."



"So, how did we get here? I think we're still trying to figure this out but I can point to a couple of likely suspects.

The first is simply that consumer-grade technology leap-frogged the cultural heritage sector's ability to fund-raise and hire third-party contractors. That the NSA or any organization (see also: Google) is able to operate at this scale is impressive but it's not like they've made a jet pack. …

Which brings us to second suspect: A legal and political framework known as Unitary Executive Theory. Unitary Executive Theory is part of the long-running debate about the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branch and it's a position that basically says: The legislature is fine however the executive can still do whatever it wants. … "



"If you hold to a particularly tree-hugger-ish and wooly-eyed world-view, as I do, that says we should finding ways to give voice to the oppressed or the otherwise simply ignored, to write a history whose tapestry is richer than simply the voices of the victors then the internet, and all the technology that we've built to support it, does a better job of furthering that ideal than anything that has come before it.

Historically we have equated the cost of inclusion with notability. This just doesn't hold anymore in a world cheap and fast computing power."



"So maybe this is what I think the challenge is going forward: To debate and advance a rhetoric, a measure against which we might be judged and challenged, that aims not to deny the future but simply to protect the present from itself. We are in, and have been living in for a while now, one of those "between two bus stops" moments and I don't have an answer to the problem I think we need to understand that it exists and that it's not going to go away on its own."
aaronstraupcope  2013  flickr  parallelflickr  loc  libraryofcongress  archives  privacy  nsa  inclusion  museums  collections  future  present  law  legal  internet  inclusivity  inlcusivity 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Every tweet ever written is now available to search and analyze, thanks to Gnip | VentureBeat
"This morning, Gnip launched its Historical PowerTrack for Twitter, which will give developers the ability to search, find, analyze, and compare all the tweets ever written, even ones written before the developer in question started scraping Twitter.

It’s the same level of access the Library of Congress got when it started archiving and storing all Twitter data, but this time, it’s commercially available."
libraryofcongress  loc  search  2012  data  gnip  twitter 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs - About this Collection - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)
"Photographers working for the U.S. government's Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) between 1939 and 1944 made approximately 1,600 color photographs that depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The pictures focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.<br />
The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches. They complement the better-known black-and-white FSA/OWI photographs, made during the same period."
ww2  wwii  fsa  owi  photography  loc  history  archives  us 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Delicious's Data Policy is Like Setting a Museum on Fire
"Yahoo! is going to shutter its social bookmarking service Delicious, the web learned today, and with it will sink an incredibly valuable source of collectively curated knowledge. You can easily export your own bookmarks (no verdict yet where we should all meet up to import them to) but what if you want to export other peoples'? That's at least half the value of the service, socially curated discovery."
del.icio.us  yahoo  data  history  curation  curating  tags  tagging  bookmarking  socialbookmarking  2010  archives  loc  web2.0 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Primary Source Sets - For Teachers (Library of Congress)
"Sets of selected primary sources on specific topics, available as easy-to-print PDFs. Also, background material and tools to guide student analysis" [See also the "For Teachers" page: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/ AND "Using Primary Sources" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/ AND "Classroom Materials" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/ among other school-specific resources available through the Library of Congress website]
congress  loc  curriculum  primarysources  research  government  education  history  lessonplans  teaching  socialstudies  classideas  tcsnmy  civilwar  baseball  dustbowl  poetry  immigration  assimilation  wrightbrothers  jamestown  wwii  ww2  jimcrow  naacp  civilrights  thanksgiving  war  veterans  westwardexpansion  suffrage  women  latinos  exploration  gender 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Gottlieb Jazz Photos - a set on Flickr
"Celebrated jazz artists come to life in photographs by William P. Gottlieb. His images document the jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C., from 1938 to 1948, a time recognized by many as the "Golden Age of Jazz".
jazz  music  photography  flickr  1930s  1940s  history  loc  williamgottlieb 
august 2010 by robertogreco
American English Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection - (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
"The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. They were drawn from various archives, and from the private collections of fifty collectors, including linguists, dialectologists, and folklorists. They were submitted to the Center for Applied Linguistics as part of a project entitled "A Survey and Collection of American English Dialect Recordings," which was funded by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Endowment for the Humanities."
culture  history  language  languages  dialects  english  us  american  linguistics  audio  words  archives  loc 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Many hands make light work « Flickr Blog
"What if you could contribute your own description of a certain photo in, say, the Library of Congress’ vast photographic archive, knowing that it might make the photo you’ve touched a little easier to find for the next person?
flickr  library  libraries  folksonomy  copyright  museums  participatory  crowdsourcing  publicdomain  photography  tagging  commons  archive  tags  loc  community  history 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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