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The Third World Development Online Library (CD3WD)
Type of site
Digital library
Created byAlex Weir (1948 - 2014) (defunct)
Launched2003; 17 years ago (2003)
Current statusDiscontinued

CD3WD was a project that focused on assisting in third world development by making technical documents and other relevant information easily available to all people. Created by Alex Weir in 2003,[1] the concept was to share useful DIY guides and technical information for free using CDs. The name CD3WD comes from "CD for the Third World Development". In later versions of the project the archive was distributed on DVD. The last version that is available online (the 2012 version) was a total of 6 DVDs (core set) and 32 DVDs of extra educational content.[2]

Content of the project[edit]

CD3WD gathered a massive free electronic library of largely donor-generated information on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food processing, engineering, appropriate technology, water and sanitation, education, health, etc. This information came mostly from NGOs and governmental agencies. The information was structured into topics and was the 6-DVD core set. The main language of the project was English but there were also parts in other languages. The core set was available from the project's webpage and by DVDs sent by mail.

The project also had an educational extra part of 32 DVDs with educational content from sources like Khan Academy, Wikipedia for Schools and Project Gutenberg. This part of the project was limited to DVDs sent by mail because most of the content was easy to find online.

Survivalists' interest[edit]

CD3WD was focused on gathering and spreading information to assist third world development,[3] but the project got much of its attention from survivalists.[4][5][6] The information in the archive handled a widespread area of practical topics relevant to preppers. This, the structure, and the offline nature of the CD3WD archive made it ideal for survivalists. In 2013 author Annalee Newitz wrote about humans surviving a global extinction event, saying, "If we're lucky, the hangers-on will have access to a repository of human knowledge called the CD3WD database."[7]

The discontinuation of the project[edit]

After the death of Alex Weir in 2014,[8] the project stopped and the project domain "" was taken over. It is no longer connected to the project. There is still a mirror page of the 2006 version of the website[9] and a torrent of the 2012 version of the project's DVDs[10] was available online. has a torrent and ISOs available.[11]


  1. ^ Weir, Alex (30 September 2013). "Australia slashing aid budget can greatly help Third World". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ "CD3WD Directory Listing". Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Want to reboot civilization? What you'll need - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Rebuilding Civilization With Cd3wd". After The Last Day. 6 September 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  5. ^ "CD3WD - Listen to Alex Weir from on the Prepper Podcast tonight. - American Preppers Network". American Preppers Network. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  6. ^ Drager, Dave. "CD3WD Archives the Information Necessary to Rebuild Society". Lifehacker. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ Newitz, Annalee (2013). Scatter, adapt, and remember : how humans will survive a mass extinction (First ed.). New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385535915.
  8. ^ "A memorial Library". A CD for third world development ... cd3wd ... Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  9. ^ "CD3WD Mirror version 4 (2006)". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  10. ^ "CD3WD Directory Listing". Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  11. ^ "CD3WD Download (2012)". Retrieved 11 February 2018.

External links[edit]