April 21, 2009 at 16:49 PM EDT
Google, Microsoft finance UN Library of World's Knowledge site
The U.N. rolled out a new website on Tuesday that offers free access to rare manuscripts, books, films and map ranging from 8,000 old paintings to recent books.
(IBTimes) -- 04/21/2009 --

The U.N. rolled out a new website on Tuesday that offers free access to rare manuscripts, books, films and map ranging from 8,000 old paintings to recent books.

The site cost $10 million and was financed by private donors, including Google, Microsoft, the Qatar Foundation, King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The World Digital Library, an online project by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), aims to display and explain just how broad and diverse human cultures are by displaying the content for free in seven languages.

Among the artifacts is a 1,000-year-old Japanese novel that is believed to be the first novel in history and the earliest known map to mention America by name.

About a tenth of the 1,200 exhibits are from Africa - the oldest an 8,000-year-old painting of bleeding antelopes

The project was launched by James Billington, a librarian at the US Library of Congress, the world's biggest library.

The website currently in early stages and only has about 1,200 documents but is expected to grow substantially.

The material is drawn from about 30 libraries and archives across the world, and will be made available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

On the Net:

<a href="http://www.wdl.org/en/" target="blank"> www.wdl.org</a>

About International Business Times

The International Business Times is composed of twelve high-growth online editions (ibtimes.com) that give readers local reports balanced with multinational perspectives. Exclusive and transparent insights from global markets make The International Business Times an indispensable news source for business-minded individuals.

Related Stocks:
Stock Market XML and JSON Data API provided by FinancialContent Services, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Six Financial
Postage Rates Bots go here