Tuesday, April 21, 2009

World Digital Library Launch

The World Digital Library is now available.

The site is launching with 1,170 objects from 26 partner institutions. WDL focuses on significant primary materials reflecting the cultural heritage of all UNESCO member countries, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other types of primary sources from varying time periods. The project will continue to add content to the site, and will enlist new partners from the widest possible range of institutions and countries.

The site is available in seven different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The content is not translated -- the items appear in their original language. The metadata and all the site navigation is translated to make it possible to search and browse the site in any of the languages. The metadata came from partner institutions or was created by catalogers at the Library of Congress, and much of the translation was provided by Lingotek.

The site was built using the Django Python framework, nginx, Lucene/Solr, and a mySQL database. The zooming in the imageviewer and pageturner is Seadragon Ajax. There is heavy use of Javascript, jquery, JSON and underlying XML. Check out the image carousels and timeline tool! The project also developed a cataloging tool to manage the metadata and cataloging process and interact with the Lingotek translation system via their API.

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