ATLAS Grant Press Release Cindy Derrenbacker 21 May 1999 16:31 UTC

Press Release

ATLA to digitize fifty essential journals in religious and theological

EVANSTON, Illinois, May 21, 1999-The American Theological Library Association
(ATLA), publisher of the premier index to the scholarly literature of
religion-the ATLA Religion Database-today announced its newest initiative:
ATLAS (ATLA Serials: Fifty Years of Fifty Journals).

Funded primarily by the Lilly Endowment with a three-year grant totaling
$3,987,000, ATLAS is the Association's first major digital full-text journal
project. The project is designed to provide colleges, universities,
theological schools, and individual scholars with the emerging electronic
resources currently available in other disciplines, but currently lacking in
the disciplines of theology.

Working with a variety of publishing partners (including Scholars Press and
Sheffield Academic Press), scholarly societies (notably the American Academy
of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature), and an independent
advisory board of scholars in theology and religion organized by the Wabash
Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, ATLAS will
digitize fifty essential journals in all theological disciplines. In
addition, the journals will be linked to the comprehensive index of more than
1,000,000 records in the ATLA Religion Database and made accessible for
classroom teaching and scholarly research through the World Wide Web and on

As currently conceived, the ATLAS project is distinguishable from other
electronic journal projects in several important ways. It will:

ÿÿ Provide electronic text of entire runs of journals;
ÿÿ Establish a link for the first time between an academic discipline's
comprehensive index and full-text electronic copies of its journals;
ÿÿ Enhance the value of membership in scholarly societies of the discipline
by providing essential research tools for their members;
ÿÿ Develop a cost model for the discipline that is innovative and creative
and provides assurance that essential journal literature of the discipline
will be available to future scholars;
ÿÿ Enlist leading scholars in the field to offer advice and counsel on the
selection and evaluation of journals to include in the program.

The ATLAS project reflects ATLA's on-going commitment to provide access to
the scholarly literature of religion and to preserve it in appropriate
formats for future generations. Just as scholars and students of religion
have relied upon ATLA's indexes for access to theological literature and have
benefited from the Association's continuing efforts to preserve religious
monographs and periodicals, so now they look to ATLA to digitize the
essential journals of the discipline to enhance the teaching and learning of

Please view the ATLAS home page ( or contact Dr.
James Adair at ( for more information.

The American Theological Library Association is a professional association of
librarians who specialize in theology and religious studies or who have an
interest in the bibliography and literature of religion. It was founded in
1946 as a scholarly, ecumenical, non-profit organization dedicated to
advancing and supporting theological librarianship and research in religion.

Cindy Derrenbacker
ATLA Grants Officer Consultant
97 Delaware Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6H 2S9
(416) 531-2626