More than 10,000 people have signed up to use a free online theological library supported by the World Council of Churches which is being touted as a "quantum leap" in sharing theological knowledge.
The GlobeTheoLib Consortium in Geneva, which includes more than 20 regional and international ecumenical organizations supporting the project, reported the development during a meeting last week, the WCC said on Tuesday. Content for the library comes from four major sources: commercial publishers, open-access repositories, partner institutions and registered participants.
The consortium, which says the library holds more than 600,000 full-text documents, says over the past 12 months it has sought to forge links with additional regional and denominational digital resource collections.
The new partnerships include one with the Senate of Serampore College (University) system, which groups more than 50 theological institutions in India and beyond. The college along with the European Theological Libraries Association (BETH), were two new members of the consortium.
"The digital library project represents a quantum leap in sharing theological knowledge and making available resources for theological education, particularly South to South, East to West and South to North," said the Rev. Dietrich Werner, the WCC international program coordinator for Ecumenical Theological Education, which co-initiated and planned the online library.
Other links established during the year included one with the Forum of Asian Theological Librarians, the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and the digital library of the Volos Academy for Theological Librarians which is the first such online Orthodox theological library.
Also hundreds of articles on theology from Latin America are being made available through a special project with a GlobeTheoLib library assistant based at the Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos in Argentina.
The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism is available at http://www.globethics.net/gtl.