Thursday, November 04, 2010

Brethren periodicals to be digitized.

The committee developing a Brethren Digital Archives is closing in on its goal of raising enough money to send the first phase of documents for digitizing by the end of the year. The longterm mission is to digitize Brethren periodicals dating back to 1851, when Henry Kurtz began publishing the "Monthly Gospel-Visitor," forerunner of "Messenger" magazine.

The Brethren Digital Archives (BDA) is a collaborative effort of publishers, libraries, and archives affiliated with the various Brethren groups that trace their spiritual ancestry back to Alexander Mack. To accomplish the digitizing, the BDA committee has partnered with Lyrasis, the nation’s largest regional membership organization serving libraries and information professionals. Grant funds make it possible to scan these publications for approximately $50,000, far less than the original estimate of $150,000, and the group is seeking to raise this amount by the end of the year.

The Brethren Historical Library and Archives has been represented at the BDA by the late Ken Shaffer. Those who attended the group’s September meeting included Steve Bayer of the Old German Baptist Brethren; Eric Bradley of the Morgan Library, Grace College and Seminary; Darryl Filbrun of the Old German Baptist Brethren, New Conference; Shirley Frick of the "Bible Monitor"; Liz Cutler Gates of the "Brethren Missionary Herald"; Larry Heisey and Paul Stump of the Brethren Heritage Center; and Gary Kochheiser of the Conservative Grace Brethren. For a full list of the partner Brethren groups and the periodicals to be digitized, or to make a donation, visit .

-- Wendy McFadden is publisher and executive director of Brethren Press.

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