Some may know that I’ve been working on a project to develop a Web site to provide digital access to the classic writings in the history of protestant mission thought.
The project began several years ago, originally conceived as a class-oriented resource for courses in the study of the history of Christian mission. The original site included a blog and discussion forum as well as online chat for students in the class. Enough interest was generated beyond Boston University in the project that we decided to create a public version that included the biographical information as well as E-books in the collection. This week the public site makes its debut at the 2008 Costas Consultation in Global Mission. I’ll be presenting in a workshop entitled: “Technology and a Guide to Global Christianity.”
Some may be interested in a few of the technological issues. The Web site uses open source software:
- BU Linux (operating system)
- Apache (Web server)
- MySQL (database)
- Joomla 1.5(content management system)
- WordPress 2.3.3 (blog)
- Scriblio (Scriblio is a WordPress-based OPAC and CMS, which merges the concepts of “blog entry” and “catalog record”.)
We also use DSpace and Greenstone as repositories for digital content, though the Web site doesn’t actively use them.
The creation of metadata for the E-books hasn’t kept pace with the development of the Web site. In coming weeks, additional books will be added including books by and about most of the missionaries for whom biographies are available. Additional missionary biographies will be added as graduate student assistants are able.
With the completion of the redesign of the public version of the Web site, effort will turn to upgrading the design of the version designed for class use.