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Google Cultural Institute brings dozens of new exhibits online

The company's effort to digitize and preserve historical documents now includes scores of new exhibits on topics like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the D-Day landing.

Screenshot by Casey Newton/CNET

Last year saw the quiet launch of the Google Cultural Institute, an effort to digitize artifacts from museums, universities, and other collections and put them online for public consumption.

Today the institute, which is led out of Google's Paris office, brought 42 new exhibits online.

"The stories have been put together by 17 partners including museums and cultural foundations who have drawn on their archives of letters, manuscripts, first-hand video testimonials and much more," the company said in a blog post. "Much of the material is very moving -- and some is on the Internet for the first time."

Some of the exhibits posted today include:

  • Jan Karski, Humanity's hero: first-hand video testimony from the man who attempted to inform the world about the existence of the Holocaust. 

  • Steve Biko: a 15-year-old's political awakening in the midst of the Apartheid movement featuring nine documents never released in the public domain before. 

  • D-Day: details of the famous landing including color photographs, personal letters and the D-Day order itself from Admiral Ramsay. 

To see a complete list of the exhibits, click here.

Previously the Cultural Institute made its Art ProjectWorld Wonders and the Nelson Mandela archives available online. It also digitized the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"We're working closely with museums, foundations and other archives around the world to make more cultural and historical material accessible online and by doing so preserve it for future generations," the company said.

Google also posted a video featuring some of the exhibitors.