ATLA Launches Beta Release of the ATLA Digital Library

The American Theological Library Association (ATLA) is excited to announce the beta release of the ATLA Digital Library. The ATLA Digital Library brings together into one portal digital collections held by theological and religious studies libraries and organizations. It provides a single point of entry to these digital primary source materials, regardless of the location of the resources.

The ATLA Digital Library provides discoverability and access to digital collections in support of ATLA’s mission of fostering the study of theology and religion by enhancing the development of theological and religious studies libraries and librarianship. Through collaboration with ATLA member and non-member libraries and organizations, the ATLA Digital Library Program will offer a range of services, from the aggregation of metadata, links to digital collections, and the hosting of collections on behalf of participating libraries and organizations.

The ATLA Digital Library is designed to provide members and other organizations with a standards compliant, sustainable, and interoperable hub in order to promote visibility and access of their valuable digital collections. ATLA Digital Library Program participants are committed to the following principles:

  • open access to and free use and re-use of metadata
  • free online access to digital content to the extent possible given existing rights to the content
  • collaboration and collectively developing and maintaining best practices among program participants

The CDRI Collection

The ATLA Digital Library is being released initially in beta with its first collection, the Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative (CDRI). Migrated from its original home (since 2003) on the ATLA website, CDRI was a project of ATLA and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). CDRI is a repository of digital resources contributed by member libraries and its creation was made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The CDRI collection contains digital images of woodcuts, photographs, slides, papyri, coins, maps, postcards, manuscripts, lithographs, sermons, shape-note tune books, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography. Its coverage focus includes ancient Near East, missions, world religions, and more. We are thrilled to give this collection a new home with improved appearance, stability, and usability.

What’s Next?

Over the coming months, development of the ATLA Digital Library Program and the platform will continue. The focus will be on creating resources and services to support participating libraries and other organizations in the management and dissemination of theological and religious cultural heritage materials.

More information about the ATLA Digital Library Program will be shared via the ATLA website, the ATLA Digital Library website, the ATLA Newsletter, and future webinars. You can also learn more about the program and how you or your library or organization can participate at the Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA this June. Register for the conference or add the Digital Projects Update session to your schedule.

If you have questions about the ATLA Digital Library Program, contact us at

3 Responses to ATLA Launches Beta Release of the ATLA Digital Library

  1. […] past year, ATLA has launched two new programs, the ATLA Digital Library and the ATLA Publishing Program. These new programs aim to enhance the benefits offered to ATLA […]

  2. […] We are pleased to introduce Christy Karpinski, the new part-time Digital Collections Metadata Librarian in the Member Programs department. She will act as a support to member institutions as they prepare their metadata for the ATLA Digital Library. […]

  3. […] found friends. I was honored to attend BETH and give a presentation about the development of the ATLA Digital Library contextualized within the recent history of the United States’ digital […]

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