A new web site from Norway aims to provide comprehensive information on the censorship of publications around the world.

The Beacon for Freedom, established by the Norwegian Forum Freedom of Expression, provides an independent insight into the history of censorship through a continually updated online database.

The database has been compiled by The Norwegian Library Association in collaboration with tutors and students from the faculty of Journalism at Oslo's University College.

The site also features a substantial reference section with links to the international academic research partners, libraries and human rights organisations that contributed to the project.

In May 2003 Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, Norway's Minister of Culture and Church Affairs, officially presented the project to the new library in Alexandria, Egypt.

The 'Bibliotheca Alexandrina' has been built in the same city as the Pharos lighthouse - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the inspiration for the Beacon for Freedom name.

Funding for the project has been secured from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs until 2005.

The Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression was established in 1995 to promote freedom of speech worldwide. The forum is funded entirely by 15 members, including the Norwegian Union of Journalists and the Norwegian Publishers Association.


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