An online digital library backed by the US Library of Congress, UNESCO and 32 partner institutions will launch on April 21, 2009.
Manuscripts, maps, rare books, sound recordings, films, prints and photographs will be available online. Access will be unrestricted and free. The archives will be searchable in seven languages and archives from many difference language sources will be included.
Implications - Digital storage is the future of libraries and cultural preservation, so it's no surprise to see projects like this emerging on a large scale. Via digital means, huge collections of culture can be efficiently stored in considerably larger spaces than they might otherwise require where they can also be accessed via instant directories. As humanity's collective cultural footprint continues to expand, this technology will become increasingly important.