Thursday, November 20, 2008

Europeana ,a digital libray launched in Europe today.

Europe called the old continent, is embedding its images ,documents files etc into digital archives .This is the first site may be coming from the fruit of European unity and that "will produce a prototype website giving users direct access to some 2 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers" .It is really a formidable job that has very important digital documents in which France will take lead in digital library.

Including online the Magna Carta from Britain, the French Declaration des Droits de l'Homme of 1789, the Vermeer painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" from the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, a copy of Dante's Divine Comedy and the Carte Plana de Parte da Costa do Brazil, a map of Portuguese colonies dating from 1784, Europeana will certainly go further than Google ,because this American engine has of course millions of informations ,but not as precise and concise as Europeana,states a journalist .

Europeana begins life Thursday, more than half of its two million items come from just one of the 27 countries in the European Union: France.

Europeana aims to provide a unique service, because it combines the digital resources of museums, libraries and archives of video and audio material. Material is free of copyright so can be downloaded for blogs, academic research or schoolwork by anyone with an Internet connection”.

Il Nome Della Rosa is a novel written by Umberto Eco and made as a movie by Jean-Jacques Annaud refers to a huge medieval library where different dogmas of religion meet to discuss the sacred and the profane, matters of faith and atheism, intellectualism and ignorance, matches this launch apparently .May be Umberto’s vision comes true as Europe is launching its first 21th century library that holds 27 countries.

No doubt, Searchers within Europeana will discover Muslim and Arab influence on European culture before Renaissance times when Popes used to send religious students to be educated at Al Qayrawan University either in a spiritual city called Fes or Tunis in order to taste the sweetness of great and imaginative books from Iraq like One Thousand and Nights, from Morocco Averroes and from Damascus,Al Farabi philosophy .Can Arabs surprise us some day to launch anything like this digital miracle ?

Allal El Alaoui