ADACH National Library joins World Digital Library
ABU DHABI - The National Library of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) has joined the World Digital Library (WDL), an international project that places on line important historical and cultural documents from countries around the world. 119 partner institutions from 66 countries are currently contributing to the WDL, which is being developed with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The National Library will contribute with important Arabic and Islamic manuscripts from its collections, as well as books, maps and atlases, photographs, and audiovisual materials relating to the history of the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Peninsula.
The WDL Web site is maintained by the Library of Congress which, under the Charter adopted by the partner institutions in 2009, serves as the WDL institutional Project Manager. Mr. Jumaa Al-Qubaisi, Deputy Director General for National Library Affairs and Director of the National Library at ADACH, signed the WDL Charter on behalf of ADACH, the parent organization of the National Library. “We are delighted to be working with UNESCO and all the WDL partners to bring the rich cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world to international audiences through the medium of this cutting edge Internet project,” Al-Qubaisi said.
James H. Billington, Librarian of the Congress said “We welcome the National Library of Abu Dhabi as a WDL partner, and look forward for working with our colleagues from Abu Dhabi to expand and enrich the Arabic content on the WDL”
In addition to working with the Library of Congress, the National Library is a member of the Arab Peninsula Regional Group of libraries, museums, and archives from the Arabian Peninsula and nearby regions which is sponsored by the Qatar Foundation and which held its first meeting in Doha in December 2010. The objectives of the regional group include increasing the number of WDL partners from the Arab world, expanding the volume of Arabic-language content on the WDL, and increasing usage of the WDL in the Arabic speaking world.
The WDL is freely available to the public at www.wdl.org in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The Web site was launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in April 2009, and has since had more than 14 million visitors from the around the world. The objectives of the WDL are to promote international understanding among people and cultures, to improve the quality and diversity of cultural content freely available on the Internet, and to help narrow the “digital gap” by building capacity in libraries and partner institutions worldwide, and especially in the developing world.