About the Beacon for Freedom of Expression
In honour of the new library of Alexandria
The Beacon for Freedom of Expression bibliographical database on freedom of expression and censorship world wide was designed and produced by the Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression (NFFE) in celebration of the revival of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the world library of humanism.
The long history of censorship
Censorship has followed the free expressions of men and women like a shadow through history. In ancient societies, such as those of Israel or China, censorship was considered a legitimate instrument for regulating the moral and political life of the population. In China, the first censorship law was introduced in 300 AD.
The Norwegian pioneer project
In 1997 NFFE conducted a world wide survey with the intention of both mapping available sources on censorship past and present, and sources of indexed books and newspapers not easily accessible to the public.
The project organisation
From 2007 an international board is in charge of the organisation in collaboration with the Norwegian National Library as professional advisor.
Collaborators and contributors
The database has been made possible thanks to the generous support, advice, contribution and collaboration by hundreds of libraries, institutions and non governmental organisations or individual experts across the world.
The database is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs. The creation of the web site, dedicated to the database, was funded by the Norwegian institution Institusjonen Fritt Ord. Further development is in charge of the National Library of Norway.
The database is dynamic in form and concept, built on professional principles and designed both as a model for the continuous compiling of data on censorship and freedom of expression, and as a model for efficient international collaboration across professional boarders.