As a project that aims to show the richness and diversity of the world’s cultures, the World Digital Library (WDL) includes, along with a large body of secular material, many sacred books from the world’s great religions. The collection of Bibles in the WDL is especially striking for the quality and variety of the manuscript and print editions it contains, the range of languages represented, and the number of institutions in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Africa that have contributed to the collection.
Bibles in the World Digital Library provides an illustrated overview of this collection, with links to the full texts of the books and manuscripts in the WDL.
In December 2012, Carnegie Corporation of New York provided a grant to the Library of Congress to digitize its collections relating to Afghanistan and to make this content freely accessible via the WDL. In addition to making these collections accessible online, the Library of Congress presented high-resolution copies of the digitized material to cultural and educational institutions in Afghanistan for use in building their own digital libraries and online repositories. Many of the items in the Library’s collections previously were not accessible in Afghanistan, either in physical or in digital form.
The Library of Congress Afghanistan Project is an illustrated report on the collection of manuscripts, books, maps, journals and magazines, and prints and photographs added to the WDL and transferred via hard drive to institutions in Afghanistan under the terms of this grant. The collection consists of several thousand library items, comprising more than 160,000 digital images or pages, and occupying approximately seven terabytes of digital storage. The report contains the titles and descriptions of these items, with links to their presentation in the WDL.
The WDL contains many manuscripts, books, maps, and other documents that are “firsts” in the history of the world or of particular countries, cultures, or linguistic areas: the oldest surviving copies of important works of history and literature; first editions of notable books; and the earliest surviving works in particular scientific disciplines, artistic genres, languages, or created for the first time using a new technique or technology.
“Firsts” in the World Digital Library is a listing of these items, with links to their complete presentation in the WDL. The list is presented chronologically, with a brief explanation for each item of how it constitutes a “first,” along with its date of creation and contributing partner institution.