The mission of the World Digital Library (WDL) is to provide free access to primary sources that document the histories and cultural achievements of all countries. We would like to work with teachers, school librarians, and other educators to make sure we are presenting this content in a way that is useful for you. Please let us know if you have feedback. You can follow us on Twitter @WDLorg. This page provides information about the WDL project, a list of resources developed for teachers, and a set of content highlights.
About the WDL
- The WDL is being led by the U.S. Library of Congress. We are working with UNESCO, other national libraries, public libraries, museums, archives, and university libraries. WDL has over 180 partners from 80 countries.
- The URL is www.wdl.org. (The site you are on now is the WDL project site which contains information about the WDL's organizational structure, technical standards for partners, and other project documentation.)
- The WDL includes primary sources from partner institutions around the world. Content includes rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and more. Browse content by type of item.
- The WDL site is available in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. You can change languages at the top of every page.
- Every item includes a description like this picture of Mulberry Street in Little Italy (New York) taken in 1900.
- The site can be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution.
- We aren't done! We regularly add content and partners.
Resources for Teachers from the Educational Outreach Team at the U.S. Library of Congress
- Primary Source Set: "Maps from the World Digital Library"
- Teacher's Guide: "Maps From The World Digital Library" (PDF)
- Resources for teachers in Arabic and French
- More guides for analyzing primary sources
Content Highlights from Partners Around the World
- See tweets from the WDL World Tour.
- Primary documents in United States history: Summary View of the Rights of British America, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Treaty of Paris, Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation
- Works by Galileo
- Mozart's manuscript score of The Magic Flute, his final opera
- Bach's autograph copy of his Christmas Oratorio
- 19th century photographs of Brazil assembled by Emperor Pedro II
- Gutenberg Bible
- World maps
- Napoleon's study of Egypt
- Maps that Charles Lindbergh used to plan his flight from New York to Paris
- Chinese rare books
- Earliest engraving of any city or territory now part of the United States
- First great novel in world literature
- Film of a Spanish bullfight made by one of the earliest movie cameras
- Arabic manuscripts related to math and science
- Indigenous Mesoamerican pictographic codices from the 11th through the 16th centuries
- One of the earliest recordings of the Marseillaise, the French national anthem
- Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses