World Digital Library Project
Negotiations between the National Library of Uganda NLU) and the Library of Congress regarding the introduction of the WDL Project in Uganda started in December 2008. In April 2009, the Carnegie Corporation of New York agreed to provide funding for, among others, the establishment of a Digitisation Centre at the NLU. The funding would also provide six staff positions as well as their training.
The principal objectives of the WDL are to:
- Promote international and intercultural understanding;
- Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
- Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
- Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.
Library of Congress support
In May 2009, two officials Michael and Pamela Howard from the Library of Congress visited the NLU and held discussions with NLU staff on matters of content as well as equipment and the way forward for the project. They also visited some of the institutions that had been identified as potential partners to the project. These included the National Archives, Makerere University Library, the National Documentation Centre, the Uganda Museum and the Uganda law society.
Partnership contributor agreements.
Each contributor of content to the project is expected to sign an agreement with the Library of Congress to enable its content to be put on the web site. As of 31st May 2010, ten contributor agreements had been signed, nine of these came from custodial institutions that hold the treasures of Uganda’s cultural heritage and one, from an individual informant and contributor Mr. Drake Ssekeba. The nine custodial institutions are Bank of Uganda, Kings College Budo, Kyambogo University, Law Development Centre, Ndejje University, Uganda Christian University, Uganda Management Institute, Uganda Society and Toro Kingdom.
WDL Project Uganda - Milestones-August 2009 to 31st June 2010
So far the WDL project has achieved the following:
During May 2009, a consultative meeting was held about the WDL Project in Uganda. A Task Force Committee was elected to discuss issues related to the content scope and agree which institutions would be visited by the first two delegations of staff from LC.
In May 2009, the first Library of Congress delegation comprising of two officials, Michael Neubert and Pamela Howard visited the NLU and held discussions with staff on matters of content as well equipment and the way forward for the project. They also visited some of the institutions that had been identified as potential partners to the WDL project in Uganda. The first stakeholders/partners meeting was also held at the National Library of Uganda and was attended by the two visiting staff from LC.
During June 2010, WDL project Uganda task Force Committee comprising of the members resolved the committees’ roles, identified some of the institutions that hold Uganda’s cultural content and decided Uganda’s Content Scope.
During August 2009, the NLU and LC signed participatory agreement in the WDL project.
During December 2009, WDL Uganda staff were recruited.
January 2010, a second delegation from LC visited NLU. Equipments were delivered and the Digital Scan Centre set up.
In February 2010, a second stakeholder meeting was held to enable the trainers from the LC meet with the Uganda WDL stakeholders and the project activities began.
On March 10 2010, His Excellency Hon. Jelly P. Lanier, the Ambassador of U.S.A. in Uganda. Officially inaugurated the project.
By May 31st 2010, ten Contributor Agreements had been signed.
By June 2, 2010, seventy-one materials had been digitized and sixty records were fully described in Metadata Object Schema (MODS) and Access.
By June 2, 2010, about 50 materials from partner institutions had already been identified and awaiting conservation assessments before being brought to the Digitization scan centre.
In conclusion, the WDL project has been very successful since the start of its activities in February 2010. The NLU wishes to thank the Library of Congress for its great support to the project at the National Library of Uganda. The various stakeholders in the country have also been very enthusiastic and supportive and for that the NLU is very grateful.
The WDL’s URL is www.wdl.org .