World Digital Library;5 Facts You Must Know

World Digital Library (BDM). It gathers maps, texts, photos, recordings and films of all time and explains, in seven languages, the jewels and cultural relics of all the libraries on the planet. It has, above all, patrimonial character. The BDM not only offers current documents, but with heritage value, which allow us to better appreciate and understand the world’s cultures in different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. But there are online documents in more than 50 languages.


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  • 1 Creation
    • 1 Objectives
  • 2 Data and access to the global site
    • 1 Older documents
    • 2 Available languages
    • 3 Jewels it contains
  • 3 Sources


The World Digital Library was created by the United States Library of Congress and UNESCO . Inaugurated on 21 of April of 2009 at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris , France .


Its objective is to expand the content in different languages, as well as non-western origin and to allow free and multilingual access to funds from cultures around the world.

Available material includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, photographs, architectural documents, as well as other cultural materials.

Data and access to the global site

The World Digital Library is available on the Internet , through the site or Access is free and users can enter directly through the Web , without need to register. It allows the Internet user to target their search by time, geographic area, type of document and institution.

Older documents

Among the oldest documents there are some pre-Columbian codices, thanks to the contribution of Mexico , and the first maps of America , drawn by Diego Gutiérrez for the King of Spain in 1562 . The treasures include the Hyakumanto darani, a Japanese document published in 764 and considered the first printed text in history; works by Arab scientists that unravel the mystery of algebra ; bones used as oracles and Chinese steles; the Gutenberg Bible; old Latin American photos from the National Library of Brazil .

Each jewel of universal culture appears accompanied by a brief explanation of its content and meaning. The documents are scanned and incorporated in their original language, but the explanations appear in seven languages, including Spanish.

Available languages

The system proposes explanations in seven languages ​​(Arabic, Chinese, English , French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese). The documents, meanwhile, are scanned in their original language. With a simple click, you can turn the pages of a book, zoom in or out of the texts and move them in all directions. The excellent definition of the images allows a comfortable and meticulous reading.

Jewelry containing

Among the jewels that the BDM contains at the moment are:

  • Constitutions of numerous countries
  • 16th centuryJapanese text considered the first impression in history
  • Diary of a Venetian scholar who accompanied Hernando de Magallanes on his journey around the world
  • The original of Lafontaine’s “Fables”
  • First book published in the Philippinesin Spanish and Tagalog
  • The Gutenberg Bible
  • African cave paintings dating from 8000 BC


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