Claremont School of Theology Donates 250,000 Books to the Open Library – Cal

“Claremont School of Theology has donated about 250,000 religious studies volumes to the Internet Archive to be placed in their Open Library for “controlled digital lending.” These volumes include many very important and very recent resources in the field. … Look for these books to begin appearing the Open Library beginning around Jan. 1. The digitization of the entire collection is scheduling to take place within the next two years. CST has made this donation as it relocates to Salem, OR to embed within Willamette University. The CST board approved this donation in large measure to increase global access to religious studies scholarship….

If libraries wish to be even more radical in their stand of solidarity with the Open Library and their commitment to Controlled Digital Lending, cease licensing ebooks altogether going forward. Despite the deceptive marketing of ebooks, libraries never actually buy or purchase them anyway. Licenses give a fraction of the rights available to libraries under First Sale. The more libraries have shifted to ebook licensing, the more voluminous the bleeding of paying more and more money for less and less rights. Going forward, only buy print books, and partner with the Open Library to ensure they are digitized and that the digital analogs of each print book are made available to the global public. Only in this way can libraries continue to obtain and exercise their full bundle of First Sale rights.”

The Sermon’s Copy: Pulpit Plagiarism and the Ownership of Divine Knowledge | KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge: Vol 4, No 1

Abstract:  This article interrogates the sermon as a genre of religious media designed to capture and mediate divine knowledge. It does so in order to better understand the complex nature of sermon authorship, particularly the way that it elicits a uniquely spiritual conception of ownership in the sermon as an object of intellectual property. By exploring recent debates about sermon stealing, or pulpit plagiarism, the article concludes that sermon authors have generated unique defenses of sermon ownership grounded not in legal entitlement but rather in theological arguments balancing an inalienable relationship to the divine with the imperative to distribute God’s word.


Scholarly Communications Coordinator – Atla

From Atla [American Theological Library Association:] “This position is responsible for coordinating, implementing, and supporting a variety of scholarly communication projects involving Association members, peer organizations, and other collaborative partners and that benefit the work of religious and theological libraries and support expanded access to scholarship, collections, and other resources in religion and theology. These projects include the Atla Open Press, LibGuides, and other collaborative projects focused on the access and discovery of collections and resources in religion and theology.


This position will primarily coordinate Atla’s open access publishing program, including managing and supporting the editorial workflows for Atla Open Press’s monograph and journal publishing programs. This position also evaluates, implements and optimizes platform feature sets to ensure consistency, functionality, and usability. The person in this role will develop documentation and training to support editor, author, and copyeditor usage of the publishing platforms as well as coordinate and ensure accurate delivery of publishing program data to third party discovery and access portals such as CrossRef and DOAJ. This position liaises with member editors, authors, copyeditors, and strategic partners to ensure that workflows are followed or are adapted as needed to ensure quality scholarly output and to support member engagement in the scholarly communication process….”

HDS – Press Release – Harvard Divinity School Faculty Votes for Open Access Policy

“The faculty of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) voted, in a meeting on November 15, to allow Harvard University to make electronic versions of their current scholarly articles available to the public. With the vote for open access, the Divinity School faculty joined five other Harvard schools in a commitment to disseminate faculty research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

HDS – Press Release – Harvard Divinity School Faculty Votes for Open Access Policy

“The faculty of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) voted, in a meeting on November 15, to allow Harvard University to make electronic versions of their current scholarly articles available to the public. With the vote for open access, the Divinity School faculty joined five other Harvard schools in a commitment to disseminate faculty research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

Open Access Information Service for Researchers in Theology

Abstract:  Tübingen University Library offers a continuously improved next generation bibliographic database for theology and religious studies. The “Index theologicus” database is available worldwide in open access. It is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) in the funding program “specialised information services” . This paper informs about the background of the project and the steps the Library took in order to transform a legacy online content database system into one of the most important international bibliographies in theology without increasing the number of staff involved.

ATLA Press Utilizing Editoria to Develop Internationally Authored Handbooks for Librarians – Editoria

The ATLA Press, the open access publishing program of the American Theological Library Association, publishes open access works on subjects at the intersection of librarianship and religious and theological studies that potentially impact libraries. We seek to provide resources that guide and support innovative library services and enhance professional development. Through the Public Knowledge Project’s (PKP) platforms Open Journal Systems we publish journals edited by members of ATLA and host the journals of partner organizations. We also utilize PKP’s Open Monograph Press (OMP)  to host our growing catalog of open access books.

The open monograph program grew and further defined itself in 2018. A full editorial board comprised of ATLA members was appointed, policies and workflows were defined, and the output of the program was organized to better articulate the means by which our books come to be published on our site ( With this growth and definition, the editorial board and I identified that we needed to find ways to more efficiently edit completed manuscripts and bring those manuscripts into final published formats. Our current editorial workflow requires reliance upon the track changes functionality of Microsoft Word and keeping track of manuscript versions during the editing process. Once the manuscript is in final form, ATLA contracts with third party designers to produce PDF and EPUB files in Adobe InDesign, a process that can be timely and costly. A demo of Editoria at the 2018 Library Publishing Forum offered an opportunity to address these two needs of our open monograph program….”

Open Access Digital Theological Library | a virtual library for theology, religious studies, and related disciplines

“The mission of Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL) is to curate high quality content in religious studies and related disciplines from publisher websites, institutional repositories, and stable public domain collections. The OADTL uses the world’s most advanced library discovery cataloging and discovery system, OCLC’s WorldShare, to make content easily discoverable and retrievable. The OADTL is staffed by professional librarians and curates content without regard for theological or confessional perspective. It is hoped that the increased access to high quality religious studies content will serve scholars and students of religion….”

ATLA Publications Moving to Open Access

 The American Theological Library Association (ATLA) is moving the Theology Cataloging Bulletin (TCB) and the ATLA Summary of Proceedings, two valued and frequently consulted resources of the ATLA membership and others, to open access. ?


For more than 25 years, TCB has provided readers with information about new and changed Library of Congress subject headings and classification numbers as well as announcements of upcoming training opportunities, a bibliography of recently published articles, and other stories of interest to religion/theology catalogers. The Proceedings is the historical record of ATLA’s annual conference. It includes summaries of pre-conference professional development workshops; reports of business meetings, interest group meetings, denominational sessions, and conversation groups; and the full text or abstracts of plenary sessions, papers, posters, and workshops presented during the conference. Readers of the Proceedings learn about the rich and varied interests of ATLA members and of the work being done in the field of theological librarianship.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – News & Announcements – PHS shares grant to digitize 18th, 19th century church records

“PHILADELPHIA The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded a prestigious Digitizing Hidden Collections grant to an interdenominational consortium of institutions holding historic records of Philadelphia congregations. The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), the national archives of the PC(USA), is one of the consortium’s 11 collecting groups. The project was one of 14 recommended for funding in 2017 out of 118 applicants. The $385,000 grant award enables the consortium to digitize and share online more than 41,000 pages of records from the years 1708 to 1870, including baptismal, marriage, bar mitzvah and burial information.”

IGNTP releases Open Data

“The International Greek New Testament Project (IGNTP), established in 1948, is working towards major new editions of the Gospel according to John and the Pauline Epistles using the latest digital tools. The focus of work for these projects is at ITSEE in the University of Birmingham. In a move towards making its data openly available, the IGNTP has now released 350 of its transcriptions of Greek New Testament manuscripts under the Creative Commons Attribution licence, meaning that these files are freely available for re-use.”

Religious studies scholars not readily adopting open access, according to new Ithaka S+R report | Omega Alpha | Open Access

“Although the report noted that scholars are keen to use online venues like for sharing and discovery of their research among colleagues, they are distrustful or uncertain about open access as a primary publishing model, either due to lack of appropriate open access venues in their (sub-)discipline, a perception of lower academic standards, or that it would not be recognized for tenure or promotion….”