I recently had the opportunity to meet three members of the Qatar Foundation, a partner organization of the World Digital Library (WDL). The WDL is a collaborative digital library project that the Library of Congress is leading. We are working with institutions around the world to provide free access to primary sources on a multilingual site. According to William B. Hawk, a WDL program specialist, the World Digital Library currently has 132 partners representing 71 countries. I was fortunate to give the Qatar Foundation visitors a tour of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress while they were here.
The visitors included: Ms. Carolyn Young, head of the Qatar Foundation’s World Digital Library Office; Mr. Mohammed Hammam, assistant manager at the foundation’s Heritage Library; and Mr. Amr Farouk Ahmed Rabie El-Masry, database developer in the Education Division of the Heritage Library/Central Library. The Qatar Foundation Central Library is scheduled to open in 2013.
The Qatar Foundation is considered a founding partner of the World Digital Library. On May 24, 2010, the Qatar Foundation and the Library of Congress signed a memorandum of understanding. Rare books and maps contributed by the Heritage Library can be viewed on the WDL site.