From the beginning Formatting the Word of God had a digital component, so it seemed natural to produce a digital version of the catalog. To make it as portable and cost-effective as possible, it was decided to create digital catalog in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). HTML is as close to an electronic "lingua franca" as currently exists. To use the CD-ROM version, simply open the file "titlepg.htm" on the CD in a Web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Anyone with access to the Worldwide Web can use the same text by going to Bridwell Library's Website at /bridwell/.
The digital text was captured from the same files used to produce the printed catalog. However, the various conversions required to do this destroyed most of the formatting, so the digital version cannot be claimed to be a true "twin" of its printed sibling. Besides the illustrations from the print catalog, the electronic version includes more than 150 additional images. Links to the added images are included at the end of the physical description. To see a larger version of the illustrations, click on the illustration itself. All of the more than 240 images in the digital catalog were captured from slides taken at Bridwell Library by Jon Speck. The slides were commercially scanned and then the images were exported in JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format using Adobe Photoshop.
HTML is still a developing tool. There is no foolproof and portable way to record some typographical and non-roman characters. Therefore, although Formatting the Word of God should work with any Web browser, not all Web browsers will display all the characters correctly. For best results, try to obtain the most up-to-date software release you can.
Greek characters posed a particular problem. Rather than risk producing something unreadable, the Greek words in the text are transliterated according to the American Library Association conventions. Actually they follow the ALA conventions with one exception; ALA calls for the Greek letters eta and omega to be represented by the letters e and o accented with macrons. Unfortunately, there is currently no provision for coding such a character in HTML, so acute accents were substituted for the macrons.
Like any project in this still-incunabular age of digital publication, Formatting the Word of God was a learning experience. May you find it useful and enjoyable and be tolerant of its shortcomings.
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