In March I had a ‘phone call from Dr Tim Davy from Redcliffe Collegein Gloucester. Redcliffe is a Bible College with a specialism in preparing candidates for overseas mission. Having moved to a smaller building Redcliffe was having to down-size its holdings of mission-related books, especially older biographical titles which are still of value – in fact, exactly the material I had been looking for.
“I know for some it may seem counterintuitive but by passing these books on to you to digitise it actually means they are more accessible to our students than before. The vast majority of our students are not based near the college all year round so being able to access them online is better. Plus, we get to share them with everyone else.”
Tim asked if would like to take some of the books with a view to scanning those in the public domain and putting them online so that students around the world could access them for free. Naturally I accepted this wonderful offer and so this week 1,000 books in 28 boxes landed on my doorstep.
So now the important initial task of working through the boxes to establish copyright has begun. Those that are in copyright will go straight to Book Aid where they will be sold to raise funds to send Christian Books to Africa. Public domain titles will go into short-term storage before being scanned and uploaded to the Missiology.org.uk website. After this the scanned books will go to Book Aid if they are still in a saleable condition. Please subscribe to the Book Aid news updates if you are interested in buying some of them.
I would like to thank Redcliffe College for this opportunity to make this wonderful and unique resource available. Below is a short video in which I share a peek into some of the boxes. Remember to subscribe to my Missiology blog so that I can let you know when the books go on-line.
Progress is expected to be fairly slow, given my family and work commitments and may take up to five years to complete. I am hoping that interest in the project will lead to an increase in support for the websites I might be able to go part-time on my day-job and devote more time to working on them.
Theology on the Web was launched 14 years ago this month. It is exciting to note that this anniversary coincides with three other major milestones in the development of the ministry.
There are now over 25,000 free-to-download theological articles hosted on Theology on the Web.
2.3 terabytes of data was downloaded worldwide over the last 12 months. If, like me, you have no idea what that means, it is the data equivalent of downloading 2,300 sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica!
Theology on the Web has now moved to its own Virtual Webserver with greatly increasing speed and capacity as the visitor numbers climb to around 2 million in 2015.
To mark these events, I have prepared a Press Release which I am sending to Christian News services in the UK and posting online. Please feel free to download and share this document as widely as possible.
Finally, thank you all for making this possible by your ongoing support and encouragement!