Monday, August 5, 2013

19th-Century Views of Philadelphia Now in World Digital Library

Image record for “Fairmount” by J. C. Wild, 1838 lithograph, on the World Digital Library’s website:

The Library Company has contributed the collection of graphic materials digitized for the recent Philadelphia on Stone lithography history project to the World Digital Library (WDL). This rich collection showcases 19th-century Philadelphia commercial lithography and provides researchers with imagery of the urban built environment, advertising, and ephemera in early America. Uploading of the digital files and their descriptions based on the Library Company’s catalog records is well underway by the WDL implementation team. Images available to date can be accessed by browsing by institution and scrolling through an alphabetical list to the Library Company entry.

The WDL, created by the Library of Congress in 2005 with support from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), strives to make thoroughly cataloged digital visual and audio content of cultural materials from around the world freely accessible online. Additionally, WDL is helping facilitate the digitization of archival material in developing nations. Through the site, nations with limited resources are given the opportunity to share their “hidden” cultural treasures online with the international community. Using the website’s capabilities, users can search for items based on geographic location and time period in more than half a dozen languages.

With the Philadelphia on Stone collection represented in the WDL, researchers around the world can catch a glimpse of mid-19th-century American culture as documented in the streets of Philadelphia. The Library Company is delighted to collaborate with the WDL and hopes to contribute more material in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's really great. As a Board member, I'm very supportive of our digitizing even though I'm not properly informed on the subject (my own fault)
    John Meigs


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