Human Development Library


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The Humanity Development Library is a large collection of practical information aimed at helping reduce poverty, increasing human potential, and providing a practical and useful education for all. This version, 2.0, contains 1,230 publications--books, reports, and magazines--in various areas of human development, from agricultural practice to economic policies, from water and sanitation to society and culture, from education to manufacturing, from disaster mitigation to micro-enterprises. It contains a total of 160,000 pages and 30,000 images, which if printed would weigh 340 kg and cost US$20,000. It is available on CD-ROM at US$2 for distribution in developing countries.

The objective of the Humanity Libraries Project is to provide all involved in development, well-being and basic needs with access to a complete library of around 3,000 multidisciplinary books containing practical knowhow and ideas. We invite many more development organizations to share their useful publications, to help distribute these libraries, and to participate in this humanitarian project.

  • Links
  • Languages
  • English
  • Size
  • 1,230 publications
  • 24 subject areas
  • 160,000 pages and 30,000 images


  • Formats materials are currently in
  • Text (html)
  • Some pages require javascript
  • Common image formats (I wasn't able to find images, but 30,000 of them are in there somewhere)
  • Scripting (any scripting needed to convert it from current packaging)

Curator Info

This resource needs a lot of curation to become useful. In particular, it needs a page containing the subset of content from this resource which is:

  • usable by children
  • open-content (licensing for many items is unclear)
  • has a logical and readable url hierarchy; is an example of the current url hierarchy

Group: None

Group coordinator: None

Contributing groups and their curators: None

Allottable size


Scope (subjects, ages, other)

  • subjects -
  • ages - mostly geared towards adults, probably 16 and up
  • location - developing world, slight emphasis on rural areas

Completeness (comprehensiveness for given topic and audience)

  • A nice, large collection of resources specifically on development; however, not particularly geared towards kids

Multilingualism (specifically es, pt, en, ar)

  • Needs translations. Currently in English.

Quality (incl. suitability for audience)

  • A lot of potentially useful information in here, particularly for the parents of students, but it needs curation and organization to be released as part of the library.

Freeness (license and format)

  • Unclear. Many works don't have licensing information attached. Most material comes from international aid organizations (World Bank, Unicef, etc.) This needs to be clarified.

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