What is the WWW Virtual Library?
The VL aims to be a superlative and easy to use guide that
thoroughly catalogues, in an organised and meaningful way,
quality Web resources on particular topics. The WWWVL is made
up of numerous volunteer specialists who are united by an
interest in cooperation, unbiased sharing and free
dissemination of information and dedicated to creating a
distributed form of networked knowledge. The easiest way to
find out what it is in practice is to use it, via the
catalogue entry page at http://vlib.org (link at base of
Legally the World Wide Web Virtual Library
is a not
for profit association (to be precise an association sans
) established in the Republic and Canton of
Geneva, under article 60 et seq.
of the Swiss Civil
Code (Code civil, chapitre II.
Why does the WWW VL need my contribution?
Basically - to expand and to make sure it remains at the
cutting edge of the Internet.
to pay overheads. The VL has no
staff. All the library pages are prepared by volunteers. All
the library pages are hosted by the members themselves or a
learned body to which they are affiliated.
The size and the growth of the Internet and thus the
expanding need to index it has though created a variety of
areas where the VL sees the need for 'central services' to
help individual volunteers.
We do though use two dedicated servers. One for the
central 'Catalog' pages (including this page). The other is
to allow the disparate pages of the distributed library
to be crawled, and:
- indexed - an excellent robot-indexing was
started by Gabriel Fenteany, this project now occupies
its own server
- link checked - Again, silly as it may seem,
checking the links on even a small database puts a strain
on the local server that may cause the process to be
aborted -a dedicated server has no such problem.
Members can be mailed a list of broken links each week.
This automated central process, followed by the dedicated
human effort of individual members means that 'broken
links' are an increasing rarity with the Virtual Library.
and, in the future:
- spell-checked - silly as it may seem this is no
easy task, especially for a multi-lingual environment.
Checking HTML code centrally has many advantages.
This project is under development.
- purchase of other software and services that VL
Council may agree, e.g. a dynamic language
Who pays the WWW VL's overheads?
Each individual 'library' within the VL is the responsibility
of its maintainer. In the final analysis it is their
intellectual property. They maintain it, they (and/or their
employers) donate the resources to allow it to be
The only recurring overheads that the VL has are the
registration of its domain name (vlib.org). As will be
obvious to anyone with a web-site of their own these
charges barely exceed 10 Euros per year.
Historically these charges have been met by members of the VL
from their own pockets. Now that the VL is formed as an
Association they will be met from central funds - the
generous donation of one member has ensured that we have
cash-in-hand to pay these overheads for many years to
How can I make a contribution?
The easiest method is by bank transfer.
The association's bank account details are:
||MIGR CH ZZ 12 A
||The World Wide Web Virtual Library
||16 883 503 1 02
|IBAN (Swiss Franc account):
||CH93 0840 1016 8835 0310 2
If you want to print these out, the essential details for
the main account
is given on
an easy to print page.
The VL does receive a lot of visitors. We do believe in
acknowledging contributors (who have indicated that they are
willing to be acknowledged!). The VL though has its origins
firmly rooted in the university/academic tradition: that is
whilst donors are gratefully acknowledged, the VL is not
soliciting 'advertising'. That said ... the VL exists in the
real world and is not averse to discussing proposals from
possible supporters to try and share mutual benefits.