Chilean website wins prestigious “Nobel Prize of the Internet”

The National Library of Chile’s website has been awarded the international Stockholm Challenge Award 2010 in the Culture category.

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The online portal of Chile’s National Library, ‘Memoria Chilena’ or ‘Chilean Memory’, has won the Culture category of the “Nobel of the Internet”, the celebrated Stockholm Challenge Award 2010. The award was created in 1994 with the aim of rewarding projects which use information technology for the benefit of the community.

After seven years, the portal has 686 thematic sites, 876,000 digital pages, 2,524 minutes of online audio and 257 minutes of video. The site features all kinds of heritage documents – from manuscripts to audiovisual archives, photos, maps and music scores – charting Chilean history, literature, art, science and society. In November alone, 890,000 people visited the portal.

“Memoria Chilena is project which highlights the importance of libraries and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to keep culture alive,” said the Stockholm Challenge Jury, after an evaluation of 290 projects in 90 countries. It also highlighted the work done by the website Chile para Niños, or Chile for Kids, an initiative by Memoria Chilena which seeks to bring heritage to children with games, music and online presentations.

Outreach in the future

The head of the National Library’s Digital and Special Archives Department, Roberto Aguirre, explained that he hopes to expand the site in 2011, following on from this year’s initiatives of virtual press and music salons. Next year’s developments will include an American documents page, along with continuing to build links with specific communities in society, following the success of sites such as Chile para Niños, Familias Chilenas (Chilean Families) and Memoria Chilea para Ciegos (Chilean Memory for the Blind).

“Next year, we plan to add 40 new features to the site and reactivate some other older ones, along with working further on the site Memoria Educa (Educational Memory) which seeks to bring the contents of Memoria Chilena and of the other sites of the Chilean Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM) closer to teachers and students in the classroom.”

For Aguirre, the prize offers a chance for Memoria Chilena to reach out further to foreigners and Chileans abroad who want to know about the history and the culture of Chile. To aid this, the site’s home page, contents, library, chronology and links will be translated into English, along with some of the other content.