Open Access Digital Library launched

The following is an announcement sent to me by Dr Thomas E. Phillips, the project’s Director.


Open Access Content Available Globally

Open Access Digitial LibraryWe at the Digital Theological Library have created a separate, fully Open Access, library in religious studies (and related disciplines) for global use.

This is OCLC’s only fully OA library.  It currently has about 100,000 ebooks and 1 million articles in it.

We encourage you to use it and to encourage others to use it. The more use it gets, the easier it will be to get external funding.

Please let us if there are important OCLC catalogued OA resources that should be added to be the collections. (We can add materials with relative ease if they are already cataloged in OCLC; otherwise it is difficult to add uncataloged content.)

The url is: http://oadtl.org/

Feel free to share this information widely.


Fact Sheet

Mission:

  • Our mission is to:
    • make all open access content
      • in religious studies (and related fields)
        • discoverable
          • by everyone,
            • everywhere in the world
              • through a single search experience
                • for free
                  • forever
                  • in a non-commercial
                • Approach: Curate OA content in religious studies in the Knowledge Base of OCLC’s WMS and make that content discoverable through a search engine powered by OCLC.
                • The OADTL (Open Access Digital Theological Library) goes live on June 15, 2018.
                • The OADTL is the world’s only fully open access library powered by the search capacity of OCLC.

Current Collections:

  • As of 6/5/18, the OADTL provides access to
    • Nearly 100,000 ebooks
      • over 17,000 from the last 25 years
      • over 11,000 from the last 10 years
      • over 5,000 from the last 5 years
    • over 150 collections
    • over 2,500 journal titles
    • over 1,000,000 full-text, peer-reviewed, articles

Ownership:

The OADTL is owned and operated by the Digital Theological Library, a non-profit corporation in support of religious studies education. Its sponsoring seminaries are (as of 5/30/18):

  • Claremont School of Theology (CA)
  • Denver Seminary (CO)
  • Evangelical Seminary (PA)
  • Lexington Theological Seminary (KY)
  • Singapore Bible College
  • International Baptist Theological Study Centre (Amsterdam)
  • Hartford Seminary (beginning 2018-19 academic year)
  • Gordon-Conwell Seminary (beginning 2018-19 academic year)

Content Selection & Curation:

  • Publisher content (e.g., Brill, de Gruyter, University of Chicago, Cambridge, Oxford, Georgias, Archeopress, various university presses)
  • Institutional Repositories (e.g., Claremont School of Theology, Liberty University, University of Glasgow, Harvard, BYU, Duke, Asbury Theological Seminary, Yale)
  • Scholarly Societies (e.g., SBL, Numismatics Society)
  • Public Domain & Creative Commons Providers (e.g., Princeton Theological Commons, Hathitrust, Globethics, Oapen.org)
  • Museums (e.g., Metropolitan)
  • Denominational Archives
  • OA journals

 

How much does it cost?

          Nada, zilch, zero. Our Pledge: “Free for everyone forever!”

 

Believe in our mission?

Help us fulfill our open access mission

  • by alerting us to high quality content,
  • by encouraging people to use the OADTL; and
  • by volunteering to help curate content.

Digitisation for the Web on a (very small) budget

Pastoral Institute, located next to Zagreb Cathedral
The Conference venue – the Pastoral Institute, located next to Zagreb Cathedral

I was invited by the Committee of the Association of European Theological libraries (BETH) to speak at their 2017 conference. Located in the beautiful city of Zagreb in Croatia, the subject of the conference was “Digitisation in European Theological Libraries”. This was clearly a subject of great interest to BETH members as around 60 representatives from  libraries across Europe attended – making it the most popular event in BETH’s history. The Conference proved to be a great experience, giving an insight into the many projects being undertaken across Europe. It also allowed me to make several very useful new contacts.

Rob making his presentation on "Digitisation for the Web on a (very small) budget"
Rob making his presentation on “Digitisation for the Web on a (very small) budget”

How to Achieve a Great Deal for Very Little

Most of the theological libraries in mainland Europe – like most in the UK – operate on a shoestring. So my subject “Digitisation for the Web on a (very small) budget” was well received. I was able to show that for many scanning projects it was not necessary to spend £15,000 on scanning equipment as I explained how I had developed Theology on the Web. The PowerPoint slides from my talk are available on the BETH website, along with those of the other participants.

Summary of Presentation

Theology on the Web provides free access to over 30,000 peer-reviewed articles plus hundreds of books – all on a very small budget. Using industry standard software, basic scanning equipment and a single volunteer technician, the project costs less than £1,500 each year to maintain. Developed over a period of 16 years and spread over eight websites, it currently hosts complete or partial content from over 60 journals (many of which are not available on-line elsewhere) and tables of contents for around 30 more. Copyright is carefully checked and the appropriate permissions obtained before being uploaded to the Internet. Materials for scanning are often provided free of charge by libraries from duplicate or redundant stock.

Despite its low running costs and “low tech” nature it consistently provides access to theological training in regions where physical books and articles are scarce or non-existent and received around 1.8 million visitors in 2016.Theology on the Web provides free access to over 30,000 peer-reviewed articles plus hundreds of books – all on a very small budget. Using industry standard software, basic scanning equipment and a single volunteer technician, the project costs less than £1,500 each year to maintain. Developed over a period of 16 years and spread over eight websites, it currently hosts complete or partial content from over 60 journals (many of which are not available on-line elsewhere) and tables of contents for around 30 more. Copyright is carefully checked and the appropriate permissions obtained before being uploaded to the Internet. Materials for scanning are often provided free of charge by libraries from duplicate or redundant stock. Despite its low running costs and “low tech” nature it consistently provides access to theological training in regions where physical books and articles are scarce or non-existent and received around 1.8 million visitors in 2016.

A New Batch of Journals for Digitisation

Thanks to the generosity of a UK theological library that was reducing its holdings I have tonight taken delivery of eight boxes of journals for digitisation.

These include an almost complete run of The Expository Times and series 8 and 9 of The Expositor. Watch out over the coming weeks for Public Domain material from these being uploaded.