The aims of this project are:

  • to preserve in known, established locations all available computer files of Scripture
  • on storage media that will be readable in the future
  • in file formats that are not software dependent
  • without compromising ownership and copyright
  • for future generations.

Background

Bible agencies have been very good at maintaining and archiving Scriptures in printed book form. But, up until now, there has never been a systematic cross-agency attempt to collect the computer files for all printed Scripture. 

Unfortunately many computer files have already been lost or never existed. Some are now in inaccessible formats, and others have become unreadable because of media deterioration. In some cases, files are inaccessible because we cannot obtain the software any more. All these will result in difficulties for Bible publishing agencies if they wish to re-print in the future. Because of these factors, there is an urgent need to collect all the existing files.

Methodology 

The Bible for the Future Project is using the following methods to preserve files:

  • Mirrored Sites. We store files in several mirrored sites in different locations. Normally these locations are the Bible for the Future Project storage sites plus the Client's site. 
  • Archive Quality Media. Files are stored on a secure server that is backed up remotely. Files will be migrated to newer media (such as DVD) when these become established as the new internationally preferred standard storage media. The original storage media will also be kept. This will avoid our getting into a "digital black hole" where media are not readable because the necessary drives are no longer available.
  • Easily Readable File Formats. Files are normally stored as text files using Standard Format or XML. These are not dependent on proprietary software. If files are submitted in proprietary software formats, we will retain these files, and also convert the files into more easily readable forms.
  • A Non-Release Policy. Files will not be issued to members of the public, nor to other agencies, but only to the client or the client's specified representative. Ownership will not be compromised.
  • One-Stop Location. This will provide a "one-stop" location for all Scripture files. Currently Scripture files are scattered in the archives, cardboard boxes, and cupboards of many Bible agencies. People do not know where to go in order to get the files they need.
  • Keyboarding. We have an extensive team of over 400 people who are actively involved in keyboarding Scripture, both newly translated material and books where no computer files are available. We do this work on request.
  • Cost. There is no charge for the "Bible for the Future" project's archiving service nor for the keyboarding service.
  • Strategy. We believe that creating this collection is strategic for the development and growth of the Church in the future.