The al-Tafsīr website, maintained by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, provides the original Arabic of over 100 Islamic texts, primarily works of Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) from all the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence and from other theological and mystical currents. It also provides three tafsir collections in English; the full text of the Qur'an in Arabic as well as translations into eighteen languages, including seven different translations in English; and audio files of Qur'anic recitation in different modes. The site is navigable in English and Arabic, though the tafsir collection must be navigated in Arabic for access to the widest range of Arabic texts.
One of the great advantages of the al-Tafsīr website is that the texts have been entered by hand, rather than scanned, making them fully searchable and easily navigable. This brings a large number of Islamic texts, many of them previously only available as manuscripts, to students and researchers around the world. By providing tafsir collections from over 60 authors and a variety of schools, the site makes comparative study possible. Access to the text of the Qur'an also includes tabs for further information (commentaries, reasons for revelation, meanings, vocalisation) for each verse. The site is easy to use and provides access to a large number of original texts that will be of great interest to advanced students and researchers in Islamic studies.
The Digital Library and Museum of Buddhist Studies, from the National Taiwan University Library, is an online resource centre that supplies textual information on Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist teachings, and the languages used in them. Users can search an online database of bibliographies, online full-text publications, ejournals and ebooks using keywords or more specific search terms. The website provides online guides to the main languages used in Buddhist texts, including Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan lessons. Those interested in the Tibetan language should note that its dedicated page is only available in Chinese (traditional characters). The main page acts as a gateway to Buddhist scriptures available online from international websites. Chinese scriptures can be downloaded directly from the digital library in PDF format. Scholars of Tibetan Buddhism will find the online tools section useful. This includes links to an online Tibetan to English translation tool, and to electronic text initiatives and dictionaries related to Buddhist studies. Scholars will also find a news section, containing dates of academic conferences and events around the world. The website as a whole would be of interest to researchers and students alike, although users with a solid grasp of written Chinese will have an advantage when using the resource.
Keston Digital Collection is a searchable selection of digitised primary sources on the Soviet repression of religion from the Keston archive, now based at Baylor University’s Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society. Materials chosen from amongst the archive’s 4,000 plus items include: Soviet anti-religious posters; samizdat texts, such as a record of a trial handwritten on cloth; newspaper reports; photos. Users may browse various categories of source (photos; documents; posters; prints) or the entire collection. The site also offers the user sophisticated search and select options, with customised display of favourites, and plans to make audiovisual materials available in addition to high quality reproductions of texts and images. This resource will be of most use to those teaching or researching Church-State relations or religion under Communism.
Narodnyi katalog pravoslavnoi arkhitektury is a user-generated content project aiming to collate and catalogue photographs of all the Orthodox churches, monasteries, chapels, belltowers and cathedrals in Russia. The site holds over 60,000 images, searchable by: keyword; geographical location (including Belarus); building type; construction date; architect; or a combination thereof. The catalogue can be browsed by: geographical location (oblast; region; town); diocese; participant (contributing photographers). There is also a links page and a forum. Many photos are accompanied by entries about the history of the building with citation references; others simply have an address, and sometimes details of how to get there or a link to the parish website. This site will be of most use to researchers and teachers of Russian religious architecture, culture and history.