What is cultural heritage, and how does it intersect with public sector information? These are the underlying questions raised in this case study, one that examines cultural heritage as public sector information, while using the World Digital Library, a large virtual library sponsored by the Library of Congress and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as a case study. Created in 2005, the World Digital Library offers a treasure trove of diverse information—maps, art, and manuscripts, among others. The World Digital Library includes various cultures in several languages and helps to bridge connections between different countries and institutions. The Library, moreover, provides far-reaching access to cultural objects that may otherwise be difficult to visit for the general public as well as academic researchers. Policies and procedures related to the values/benefits of using public sector information are discussed as well as the intellectual property policies and content creation, image, and metadata standards associated with the World Digital Library. This case study offers a lengthy examination of public sector information use and cultural heritage survival strategies in Africa. Closing remarks include recommendations for improving the reuse of material, greater expansion and growth in the developing world, and more advanced capabilities for outreach.

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