The World Digital Library

John Van Oudenaren


Librarian of Congress James H. Billington first proposed the establishment of a World Digital
Library in a June 2005 speech at Georgetown University to the U.S. National Commission for
UNESCO. Billington called for a cooperative project, to be undertaken by the Library of
Congress and partner libraries from around the world in cooperation with UNESCO, to digitize
and make freely available over the Internet primary source documents that tell the stories and
highlight the achievements of all countries. Such a project, he argued, would hold out the promise of
bringing people closer together precisely by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global


library, primary sources

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ISSN: 2083-0599 (online); 2082-6923 (print)