Monday, June 1, 2009

Tools You Can Use: Research Historical Documents Online

"Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it."—Oscar Wilde

Explore Historical Treasures from Around the World

Need an ubber secret document for your villain to steal? Want something unique to add to your historical fiction? World Digital Library (WDL), a collaborative project of the U.S. Library of Congress, UNESCO, and partners throughout the world, lets you discover significant primary sources, historical documents and materials. This interactive, multilingual resources includes items dated from 8.000 BC to modern times.

World Digital Library Features

  • Discover historical treasures, documents and materials from different countries and cultures around the world
  • Organizes content on a world map by geographic regions
  • Includes rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, architectural drawings, prints, music scores, sound recordings, films and other types of primary sources
  • Includes a timeline associating each item with a year or historical period
  • Create a custom time period showing all the items available in the time period you selected
  • View ancient maps, manuscripts, architectural drawings, photographs and more
  • Browse using the search function by key word, place, time, topic, institution, and format: books, journals, manuscripts, maps motion pictures, prints and photographs, sound recordings
  • Play audio and video files using Flash
  • Launches a page turner function for books and items containing multiple pages
  • Click to view the item's description, see related items and watch curator's video interview
  • Zoom in to view the item in larger size
  • Available in the official languages of the United Nations: English, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese
  • Promotes international and intercultural understanding
  • Expands the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet
  • Provides resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences
  • Resets image to zoom in to view photographs and other items in great detail or zoom out or reset the image to its original size
  • Downloads each item in the World Digital Library
  • Provides books as PDFs (Portable Document Format)
  • Provides a curator video of an expert speaking about an item or collection for some items
  • Presents contents of the books, manuscripts, and other items as images

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