The UNESCO supported World Digital Library launches today. Shaped in concept and realization largely by the U.S. Library of Congress, the WDL aims to enable the sharing of important cultural “objects” within and across cultures. Sensibly, perhaps, given the fate of the European equivalent, Europeana, the WDL is starting out small: there are at launch just over a thousand items in the library, some from every region of the globe. There are, for example, 13 items from Canada (and 6 from Mexico) among the 133 items from North America. One of the reasons for the paucity of Canadian objects must be the fact that no Canadian library is a partner participant in the project.
Apart from any intrinsic interest the available items may have, it would be worth visiting the site to see how the LOC has established criteria for inclusion and for careful metadata.