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World Wide Information: The Other Side of the Coin

Much has been written in this blog about  As regular readers well know, it is a global gateway to scientific and technical databases conceived, developed, and operated by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. accelerates scientific discovery and technological progress by providing one-stop searching of enormous quantities of information published on behalf of governments from around the world.

Of course, the world’s information covers numerous topics other than science and technology.  For information about the cultures of the world, a particularly noteworthy virtual collection is theWorld Digital Library(WDL) developed and operated by the Library of Congress,which is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscriptsin its collections.  It makes available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.  The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

  • Promote international and intercultural understanding;
  • Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
  • Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
  • Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

WorldWideScience and the World Digital Library are complementary, one focusing on science and technology and the other on culture.  They are both free of charge and open to everyone with Internet access.

One key service provided by both WorldWideScience and the World Digital Library is that they help to transcend language barriers.  However, their approaches to overcoming language barriers differ.  The World Digital Library generally offers...

Related Topics: Enrico Fermi, history of science, multilingual, translations, World digial Library, (WWS)