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Serageldin presents BA contributions at UNESCO launch of WDL
Paris, 21 April 2009  -- At a reception co-hosted by UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and U.S. Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, UNESCO and 32 partner institutions launched the World Digital Library (WDL), a website that features cultural material from libraries and archives from around the world. As Director of one of the partner institutions and as major contributor of digitized content to the WDL, Serageldin was a key figure at the launch held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. As the precious content contributed from the BA collection was displayed for the first time, Serageldin presented and explained the project to an international audience of government ministers, ambassadors, delegates and the press.

The WDL will function in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. It will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints and photographs, and will provide unrestricted access to this material , free of charge.

The WDL was developed by a team at the Library of Congress and technical assistance was provided by the BA. The project aims to promote the free flow of knowledge.

Following is a quote from the British newspaper Financial Times:

Ismail Serageldin, director of Egypt’s national Bibliotheca Alexandrina which played a key role in digitizing the ancient texts, said: “There are other online libraries but this is the first time anything quite so international has been attempted. It is the first digital world library of its kind.”

The Library of Alexandria P.O. Box 138 – Chatby, Alexandria 21526 , Egypt     Phone: +(203)-4839999 Fax: +(203)-4820450   Email: