iBiblio.org Language Collection

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Just came across the iBiblio.org Language Collection which features free and open source music, language-learning resources and other such goodies for many languages.

From the site:

Home to one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, ibiblio.org is a conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. ibiblio.org is a collaboration of the Center for the Public Domain and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It's Not Your Average Library
The evolving Internet has created new opportunities to share knowledge. Imagine being able to walk into your local library and view, on demand, and without charge, not only every imaginable written text, but also music and poetry archives, African American authors, American history, sports statistics, philosophy of religion, Italian literature, large text database projects, software archives, and more.

Then imagine, in addition to being able to view the collection, you have the opportunity to critique it, expand it, or to create and manage a new collection in your own area of interest. While such a feat is physically and fiscally beyond the scope of even the largest and most extraordinary physical library, ibiblio.org achieves just such breadth and depth on the Internet.

Users in China studying American poetry or folk music can access ibiblio.org and find a vast collection of poems or songs. They can listen to the artist perform, read the biography, download sheet music, reference secondary criticism, and submit their own research papers to the collection. A veteran of World War II from anywhere in the world can access and contribute to the enthusiast-managed Pearl Harbor archives, joining the virtual dialogue on the topic.

The average municipal public library receives a few hundred visitors a week. ibiblio.org averages 12 million information requests per day, and the contributor-maintained collections are expanding daily. A free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines, ibiblio.org uses the open source model to encourage users to help shape the way information is managed and accessed in the 21st century.

Who and Why
ibiblio.org was formed as a collaboration between the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's MetaLab, formerly known as SunSITE, and the Center for the Public Domain in September of 2000. At UNC-Chapel Hill, ibiblio is supported by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Information and Library Science. The collaboration has multiple components including, but not limited to, programs to:

* Expand and improve the distribution of open source software;
* Continue UNC's programs to develop an on-line library and archive;
* Host and foster projects that expand the concepts of transparency and openness into new areas;
* Create, expand, improve, publish, and distribute research on the open source communities;
* Expand and improve the creation of and distribution of open source software and documentation;
* Serve as a model for other open source projects.

Partners with ibiblio.org
Partners of ibiblio.org include VA Linux's SourceForge and IBM who supply the hardware on which ibiblio.org services are running. ibiblio.org runs using open source software where ever applicable and attempts to promote open source ideals within contexts other than software.

The materials available on ibiblio.org represent a diverse community of information providers who obtain space on ibiblio.org only after meeting the following criteria:

* Do the materials further the teaching, research, or public service mission of UNC?
* Does the collection use technology in innovative and unique ways? Every collection need not be innovative, but it should use up-to-date technology.
* Does the collection add synergetic value to other ibiblio.org collections? Does it complement or contradict other collections of music, agriculture, politics, religion, software, etc? An answer of NO to this question should not necessarily disqualify a collection; we may want to begin a new collection area.
* Is all of the material copyright clear and otherwise legal? Exceptions for "fair use" may apply.
* Can and will the keepers of the collection operate in a self-sufficient manner or provide requisite support funding? Exceptions can be made for especially important collections.
* If the collection utilizes third-party software, does the collection maintainer guarantee that the software will be kept up-to-date in a timely fashion, and does the collection maintainer guarantee to remove unused third-party software? See Third Party Software Addendum below for more information.
* Is the collection non-commercial or operated by a not-for-profit organization or individual?
* Are the materials of state, national, or international interest? Individual pages are permitted for those who are contributing to other broader collections, but parochial materials should be kept on the campus web server.
* The materials are collection-oriented, and not personal in nature. Personal, vanity, or portfolio sites are prohibited unless approved otherwise. See Vanity Site Addendum below for more information.

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Awesome and well-done. And much needed. This is growing everyday and is all about keeping resources in the public domain.


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