Website Improvements

In addition to editing, over the past few months I have been busy at work each day, nibbling away at a number of improvements to the website that I hope will make it more useful to you.  For example:

  1. I am going through each of the PDF files and trimming out blank and worthless pages, making sure that background OCR has been performed on each file (so you can search for text phrases), and creating bookmarks and hyperlinks where feasible, to make navigating these files a little easier.
  2. Each of the larger “Works” volumes is being broken down into component parts, so you don’t have to download the whole volume to get just the one sermon you want.
  3. Works that are keyed to a specific text of Scripture are being cataloged in the Scripture Index (see the navigation bar above).  Try this out—it is very useful, and already stocked with thousands of texts!
  4. A Topical Index, which is on hold right now, presently containing only a very small fraction of the works included on this website.
  5. I am in the process of enabling comments for each page, so that we may dialogue on specific aspects of each Puritan author’s life and/or works.
  6. I am experimenting with adding “Like” buttons to each work on the site, so that you can quickly see which works are most popular when trying to decide what to read from an author you might not be familiar with. My sandbox for this is the John Flavel page. I anticipate that several fun things can be done with the data mined from this…
  7. I have been downloading and scrubbing texts from EEBO’s web page, where appropriate.  See my prior post on text scrubbing (a computerized process of cleaning up the texts so they are a little more readable).
  8. I have been trying to incorporate texts from J.I. Packer’s online texts, where appropriate.

It will probably take a few years to get all of these things completely done, but check back frequently—the site should become better and better with each visit.  If you have any suggestions, or see any broken links or errors, please let me know!

J.I. Packer’s Puritan Collection–Now Available Online!

PackerIn this link, Justin Taylor reports on an excellent gift that has been given to us: many previously unavailable Puritan works which have been digitized from the library of J.I. Packer and posted to the web through the The John Richard Allison Library in Vancouver (Regent College, Carey Theological College). Eighty authors in all. Though for now the texts can only be read online, the reader is a pleasure to use. In time we will integrate these texts into our catalog and indices. (The link directly to the texts is here.)