Help

The World Digital Library (WDL) site is designed to encourage users to explore historical treasures from around the world. The site's features are described below.

Home Page

World Map and Geographic Regions

The WDL home page contains a world map and a timeline. The content is organized by geographic region on the map. Each region is associated with a group of countries. Each region includes content-rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, prints, sound recordings, films-about the countries in that region.

The region cluster provides the following options:

  • Click on the image to expand the cluster. You will see a larger image and title of the item you clicked and also other items within that region.
  • Click on the larger image to learn more about that item. You can use the arrows on either side of the set of smaller images to see more items within that region

    Focus on home page cluster

  • Click on the number of items below the region name to see all of the items within that region.

    Focus on the number of items within each cluster

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Timeline

The timeline controls the items that are available on the map. Each WDL item is associated with a year or a range of years based on the subject of the item.

Focus on the timeline on the home page with a specific time period selected

  • Drag the left and right timeline bars to create a custom time period. The items available on the map all fall into the time period you selected.
  • The range of years and the number of items listed below the timeline report the selected starting and ending year and the number of items that fall within that time period. You can view all of the items within the time period you selected by clicking on the number.

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Browse and Search

Browse

WDL content can be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and institution. These links appear at the top of WDL pages.

Focus on browse links at the top of the page

Each browse page functions the same way. The content is displayed in categories within each browse option. For example, the “Browse by Type of Item” page lists WDL items by format: books, journals, manuscripts, maps motion pictures, prints and photographs, sound recordings.

Focus on the Type of Item browse page

You can use the arrows on either side of the rows to see more items within that category. An individual item can be selected or you can choose to see all of the items within that category.

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Search

The search box appears at the top of WDL pages. The site can be searched in Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese. The search functionality follows the choice of language. For example, if you are in the Spanish version of the site, then your search query will search the Spanish version of the site only.

Search Results

You can arrive at a search results page in more ways than by just entering a search into the search box.

  • From an item detail page:

    Focus on linked value on item detail page

  • From a browse page:

    Focus on “View All” on browse page

  • From a few different places on the home page:

    Focus on “View All” options on the home page

The search results page provides many options for refining and expanding your initial set of results. The “Narrow Results” panel allows you to narrow your set of results. When you select a term from this panel, it will appear in the search results bar.

If you want to remove a term to broaden your search, click on the X next to that term.

Focus on search results bar

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View Items

The item detail page is where you can learn about and explore individual WDL items. Any keyword that is linked on the item detail page will link you to other items that have also been tagged with that keyword.

Focus on linked value on item detail page

WDL items are presented in the following ways.

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Audio and Video Players

Audio and video files can be played on their respective item detail pages.

Focus on video item

The audio and video players both require that you have at least Flash 8 installed. Later versions of Flash will also work. This software is freely available from the Adobe Web site at http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/

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Pageturner

Books and other items that contain multiple pages can be viewed in their entirety by clicking on the large image on the item detail page.

Focus on item detail reference image

The pageturner launches with the first page of the item in the main content area. The top of the pageturner contains navigation features.

  • Click on a small page image to go to that page
  • Enter a page number to jump to that page.
  • Use the arrows to go to the previous and next pages.

Use the controls at the top or bottom of the screen to zoom in, zoom out, reset the image to its original size, or to use the full screen viewer. Clicking on the image in the main content area produces the same effect as using the zoom in button. The image in the main content area can also be dragged to different positions on the screen.

Focus on pageturner

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Image Viewer

Photographs and other items that are contained in a single image can be viewed in great detail by clicking on the large image on the item detail page. The image viewer provides zoom functionality similar to the pageturner described above.

Use the controls at the top or bottom of the screen to zoom in, zoom out, reset the image to its original size, or to use the full screen viewer. Clicking on the image in the main content area produces the same effect as using the zoom in button. The image in the main content area can also be dragged to different positions on the screen.

Focus on image viewer

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Downloads

Each WDL item can be downloaded. There is a link to a file available for download on the item detail page. Download links are also provided on the pageturners and image viewers.

Books on the WDL are also provided as PDFs (Portable Document Format). Software for reading PDF files is freely available from the Adobe Web site at http://get.adobe.com/reader/

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Curator Videos

Selected items are accompanied by a curator video. This is a video recording of an expert speaking about an item or collection of items on the WDL. To play the video you must have at least Flash 8 installed. Later versions of Flash will also work. This software is freely available from the Adobe Web site at http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/

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Language, Translation

The language menu is available at the top of WDL pages. This site is available in Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese. This site will attempt to provide the most appropriate language to you based on your browser settings. The language menu allows you to switch to another language.

Focus on language menu

Navigation and information about each item are provided in the site's seven languages. Many more languages are represented in the actual books, manuscripts maps, and other primary materials, which are provided in their original languages.

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Viewing Text in Many Languages

The contents of the books, manuscripts, and other items are presented as images. However, the title of each item is provided in its original language as text on the item detail page. Given that the WDL contains content in over 40 languages there is a chance that you might not have the necessary fonts required to view text in all of those languages. If you do not have the necessary fonts you could see strange characters next to the “Title in Original Language” label.

Focus on “Title in Original Language”

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Accessibility

The WDL team has worked to comply with the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0. If you experience difficulty using the site please let us know.

Javascript

In order to take full advantage of the WDL's features you should use a Javascript-enabled browser. If you prefer to use the site without enabling Javascript the best place to start is the List of All Countries.

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