+ On September 21-22, 2012, the annual meeting of the Consortium of the Global Online Theological Library (GlobeTheoLib - www.globethics.net/gtl), was held in Geneva. This project was officially launched in September 2011 as a joint program of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Globethics.net, an institution based in Geneva that promotes dialogue on issues of ethics.
The Global Online Theological Library provides registered users with free access to the full texts of hundreds of thousands (to date: 600,000) articles, theses and dissertations, and other publications related to theology and the ecumenical movement, including various languages.
Now in operation for one year, the library already has more than 10,000 registered users from all over the world. It utilizes the electronic platform Globethics.net, which since 2008 has created a corresponding global digital library for ethics and bioethics.
The Global Online Theological Library aims to use new digital models to exchange information in order to contribute to the efficient transmission and exchange of theological knowledge, overcoming local barriers and physical difficulties that limit theological communication between North and South, East and West.
This undertaking provided the opportunity to network various digital theological collections around the world. Digital material from India and South Africa, texts from Latin America and other parts of the world are becoming easy accessible to researchers around the world.
The contents of the World Digital Library Theological come from four main sources:
• publishers, to whom this digital library is a subscriber in order to make their content available to registered users
• rapidly developing databases with open access
• collaborating institutions that make their own sources accessible through the Global Online Theological Library
• registered users who submit their own texts for posting to the Digital Library.
The Consortium of GlobeTheoLib, includes more than 20 associations of theological libraries and seminaries, missionary organizations and institutions, local ecumenical organizations and Christian communities around the world. In its last meeting, it assessed the progress of the program so far and developed policies for its further expansion.
The Orthodox involved in the project so far are: the Conference of Orthodox Schools of Theology (represented at the meeting in Geneva by Professor Ivan Zhelev Dimitrov of the University of Sofia) and the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, Volos (represented by Georgios Vlantis, academic collaborator of the Academy and assistant to the Chair of Systematic Theology of the Department of Orthodox Theology at the University of Munich).
The Volos Academy for Theological Studies offers the world's first digital Orthodox theological library (http://www.imdlibrary.gr/), providing access to hundreds of digitized books, edited volumes, theological journals, annuals, monographs, and essays. Summaries of the digitized works are available in Greek, English, and soon French. The library allows free access to valuable and often scarce theological material, but also to significant recent releases. By participating in the Global Online Theological Library, the Volos Academy for Theological Studies aims at the promotion, on an international level, of Orthodox theological work through this ambitious program, which offers a first-class tool to international academic research.
For further information about this project, please contact Dr. Stephen Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register as a user, please visit: www.globethics.net/gtl