May 19, 2022

Roundup and Background: World Digital Library Holdings Hit 10,000 Item Milestone, Nearly 500,000 Images Available

2014-03-06_09-50-30Congrats to the WDL team!

The 10,000th item added to the World Digital Library came from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. At the moment the WDL holds 10,037 items.

From the AP:

Officials will announce Thursday that the World Digital Library now holds more than 10,000 digitized manuscripts, maps, books, prints, photographs, films, sound recordings and other cultural items. The growing collection is a collaborative project that includes contributions from 102 institutions in 46 different countries.


The latest contributions include an early 16th-century Gospel manuscript from Ethiopia and a manuscript containing an Ottonian Gospel book fragment believed to have been made in a German monastery in the 10th century. There is also a church calendar in Greek that was created in Byzantium around 1025 to 1041.

Take a look at the 10,000 item added to the WDL.

From The Baltimore Sun:

The total number of images provided by those 10,000 entries is nearly 500,000.

For a decade, the Walters has been at forefront of providing free access to images from its extensive collections. The museum’s executive director Julia Marciari-Alexander said in a statement that participation in the World Digital Library “is a terrific way to make some of our most significant treasures available alongside those of other great museums, libraries, and archives around the world.”

Learn More

World Digital Library: A Portal to World History (April 4, 2011)
At this point the WDL held about 1500 items.

The World Digital Library concept was first mentioned in a speech by Librarian of Congress James Billington on  June 6, 2005. The plan to actually develop the idea was launched in November of that year.

The resource itself went live on April 21, 2009 with 32 partner institutions. Today WDL works with 102 institutions in 46 countries.


Constantly Update List of Material Being Added to WDL

List of WDL Partner Institutions

World Digital Library FAQ

Technical Info About the WDL (Metadata, Naming, Materials from Meetings and Workshops)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.