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Name of Collaboratory :


Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL)


Logo :


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 1992 End Date : Info Last Updated : Sun, Dec 5 2010 9:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Virtual Community of Practice  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Open Community Contribution System  

Domain(s) :

HUMANITIES >English and Literature >Classics
HUMANITIES >Other Humanities >Religion

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Christian Classics Ethereal Library is a digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books selected for edification and education. The online server reaches several million different users each year.

CCEL texts are stored in their own Theological Markup Language, which is an XML application. Texts are converted automatically into other formats such as HTML or PDF.

Volunteers from the community participate in the following ways:

Proofread and correct a page of a book as they read.

Add subject tags to book sections (a few seconds each).

Add a picture for their author pages.

Find the Library of Congress Call Number for a book (2-5 minutes each)

Help prepare a book for installation in their system (long term project, 2-20+ hours).

Contribute important public domain electronic texts in Greek, Hebrew or Latin.

Contribute expertise in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin by typing in a text in one of these languages.

Help with adding page break tags to CCEL books --an easy way to start learning XML (1-4 hours for most books).


Access to Instruments :

  Their tool to convert texts into their markup language is freely available on their Website.  

Access to Information Resources :

  All of the books are freely available on their Website.  

Access to People as Resources :

  Users and the director have written training manuals for contributing in each of the different areas.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Calvin College

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
Up to 2005, it had low funding, mostly from CD-Rom sales and individual gifts. Large grant in 2005-06, and since 2006, additional funding has come from subscriptions and advertising. Calvin College has provided space, network access, and financial support


Notes on Participants/Organizations:
There are no official volunteer/contributor numbers published but their "Volunteer Moderators and Group Leaders" discussion forum has 20 subscribers and their "Volunteers for Proofreading, Book Preparation, Translators, and Audio Books" has 68.


Communications Technology Used :

  Discussion groups/forum.  

Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

  Lately (2006) the servers have been logging about 200,000 page views from 30,000 visitors per day, providing about 2TB of information per month. That's equivalent to about over a million books per month.  
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