WDL Content Selection Working
Rifaat Hilal Co-Chair
Sreten Ugricic Co-Chair
Objectives and Definition.
Selection and Audience.
Selection Philosophy.
General Guidelines for Content selection.
Concluding Remarks.
Content Selection Standing Committee.
Further discussion.
One of the first working
First meeting in Paris
October 2007.
Co-chaired by Galina
Focus on the type of
material and limitation
of its selection.
Second meeting, in Cairo
Jan. 2009.
Discussion of content
selection Criteria.
Selection Philosophy.
Role of national
Integration with UNESCO
memory of the world and
other national memory
Objectives and Definition
According to WDL Charter..
 Fulfill WDL objectives to promote international
and intercultural understanding and awareness.
 Content will include materials representing the
culture and history of all countries.
 Digital versions of important culture materials.
 Provide resources to educators.
 Contribute to scholarly research.
Selection and Audience
Develop a selection Philosophy and
selection guidelines.
Content should appeal to a range of
audiences on a worldwide basis, students,
teachers, information professionals and the
general public.
Selection Philosophy
The World Digital Library (WDL) presents
sources for understanding the history of
The mission of the selection working group is
to show how partners will approach the
selection of sources that will present the
history of humanity to the worldwide
audience through the WDL.
Sources for the History of Humanity
Partner institutions are encouraged to select items or
collections of items that best present their respective
national cultures.
Partner institutions are encouraged to contribute to the
WDL collections from their holdings that relate to the
history and culture of other countries.
The WDL Content Selection Committee may designate
selected, high-profile subjects for treatment in an
international comparative perspective, e.g., “the history
of writing," and call for contributions from partner
institutions that relate to these subjects.
Sources for the History of Humanity
Partner institutions are especially invited to contribute
items or collections from their holdings that are
included in the Memory of the World Registry.
WDL selection guidelines may be reviewed and
enhanced over time, with particular reference to the
"Memory of the World" guidelines.
Prior to final selection, partner institutions are
requested to submit information, on a standard
template , describing the collection of material
proposed for submission, its importance, size,
intellectual property status, and so forth.
General Guidelines for Content Selection
Key historical documents; illuminated and illustrated manuscripts;
(e.g., pre-print materials); examples of calligraphy in all scripts;
sacred texts and other religious texts; personal diaries and letters of
general interest.
Rare and significant volumes of history, culture, literature, science,
and other topics, in all languages. Books that complement special
format materials (e.g., books that explain manuscripts or
Other Printed Materials
Pamphlets and ephemera that are of interest to scholars (e.g.,
railroad and shipping timetables, early advertisements and
directories) and that help to convey a sense of popular culture and
everyday life.
General Guidelines for Content
Maps, Atlases
Hand-drawn maps by explorers; early printed maps; printed
maps that played significant roles in shaping national
consciousness in different countries; maps by indigenous
peoples or that show geographic knowledge obtained from
indigenous peoples; topical maps showing industry,
transportation, ethnographic and linguistic distribution.
Prints, Drawings
Printed pictorial materials from the pre-photographic era, for
example, posters associated with important personalities,
events and social, cultural, economic, scientific, and
technological developments.
General Guidelines for Content
Collections that document everyday life, buildings, and infrastructure;
albums (published or unpublished) created for special occasions such
as visits and anniversaries; collections owned or created by important
historical personages. Images of monuments that have been included
in national registers as national treasures. Images of unique natural
monuments, national parks, and notable events.
Early films; documentary clips that show events and individuals of
historic importance.
Sound Recordings
Recordings of important historical and cultural events, developments,
and oral history (e.g., intangible heritage).
Concluding Remarks
There are no hard and fast rules for selection – no simple
answer of what kind of material should be included in or
excluded from the World Digital Library that can be applied to
every country and time period.
Countries and cultures are different. Some countries have more
of an oral than a written tradition. Some countries are newly
independent; others have been established for a long time. The
same kinds of content cannot be selected for all countries or
categories of countries.
Continue Concluding Remarks
National and thematic selection committees are needed to
ensure that the content being chosen for digitization will support
creation of the “memory of” sections. Is it the right content? Is it
important content? Does it cover the whole history?
The selection committees also should ensure balance. Are
minorities adequately represented? Are all periods covered?
Content Selection Standing
The Selection Working Group (Content Selection Standing
Committee) can function like the overall editorial board of a
monographic series or a journal.
It should ensure quality and diversity, within the broader
framework of the overall guidelines.
Further discussion
Related subjects as:
 The role of specialized content-selection.
subcommittees for particular themes or
 Inclusion of archival collections, and
 Treatment of three-dimensional materials.
Thank You

Report WDL Content Selection Working Group