Spain Launches Virtual Library

Thousands of Spanish-language classics are now
paperless and only a click away, following the recent inauguration of the
Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library.

The online library, a joint project by the University of Alicante and the Banco Santander Central Hispano, has
already received close to half a million requests in less than a week since its launch.

The library’s creators plan for the site–named after the Spanish
language’s most emblematic writer–to become a major Internet portal for
Hispanic cultural issues and an indispensable reference for universities,
institutions and individuals.

“With the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library we’re aiming to fulfill the
most ambitious digitalization project of classic works ever, using new
methods of electronic edition for mass quantities of documentary
information,” stated a library spokesman.

“[The library] has from the beginning had a clear Latin American flavor,
bringing together authors from throughout history,” said the spokesman, adding that it is “totally open to
universities, institutions, corporations and individuals interested in
Hispanic cultures.”


The original offering brings more than 2,000 works of 400 writers– from
Spanish classics like Cervantes, Quevedo, and Lope de Vega to modern Latin
Americans like Rubèn Darío and Mario Benedetti.
Currently, some 30,000 works are being digitalized and offered online for
free to “a Spanish-speaking population of nearly 500 million people.”

This
first phase of the project is schedule for completion within three years.
In addition to Spanish-language works, the library will also include works
in languages tied to the Hispanic world, such as Spain’s regional languages
or the indigenous languages of Latin America.

The library was named after Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of Don
Quixote de la Mancha, and was bankrolled in part by the Marcelino Botmn
Foundation.

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