Open Access Resource: World Digital Library

Image credit: World Digital Library

As part of the Learning Centre’s community information resources page, this week we are highlighting a fairly new open access resource, the World Digital Library (WDL) which is a multilingual digital portal with significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world, containing a world map and a timeline, and organized by geographic regions.  This resource is useful for researchers, educators, history enthusiasts, particularly those who are interested in content-rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, prints, sound recordings, and films.  A large number of libraries, archives, and cultural institutions collaborated with the WDL in contributing their collections of cultural content.

Not surprisingly, the World Digital Library contains many cultural treasures.   One of them for example, is the Complete Library in Four Sections (Siku Quanshu), held at the National Library of China.  The Siku quanshu (Complete library in four sections) was compiled during Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty, was the largest collection of texts in pre-modern China and has an important historical place in the histories of cultural texts and academic thought in China.

Or how about the famous original watercolour drawing of “Retreat of Napoleon from Leipzig“?  An original 1813 watercolor drawing by John Augustus Atkinson, this digitize art piece shows Napoleon seated in a tent shelter, surrounded by soldiers and members of his staff.

To find out more about this impressive open access product, you can go to the World Digital Library.

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