We just learned that yesterday (April 27, 2010) that John Bruno Hare, founder of the Internet Sacred Texts Archive, passed away. John’s last decade of life was deeply invested in breathing life into public domain texts that had never been digitized. All this material was released back into the world as freely licensed content. Just as the many texts John made available inspire wisdom, so may John’s life and work continue to be an inspiration.
The day John died, we announced the completion of our transcription of the Jewish Publication Society’s 1917 English translation of דברי הימים א Chronicles I. After Psalms and Nehemia, this was the third work we had transcribed in partnership with the Internet Sacred Text Archive (ISTA). We were just one group of collaborators among many others. ISTA already completed the Torah and Nevi’im up till 2 Kings. Due to the standard public domain licensing of our work, all that we endeavoured to complete could easily be shared with other free culture projects, such as Wikisource.
Indeed, we learned of John’s passing from another ISTA volunteer working on the JPS transcription project, Kimberley Peake at the University of Michigan. John’s work not only provided important texts for the whole world, it also connected the Open Siddur Project to other like minded collaborators. As we begin our first pass proofread of 1 & 2 Chronicles we invite the world to support John’s important project making public domain works of human spirituality accessible digitally over the Internet with unrestricted free culture licensing.
Ramona Turner’s article at the Santa Cruz Sentinel last August 11th, 2009, gave us some more information about John’s declining health. John was working on making the archive into a self-sustaining publishing venture when he died.
“Essentially, this is my gift to the world,” he said. “I don’t want it to go away if I die. People consider it a world treasure.”
Hare has stage-three melanoma, an aggressive cancer with no cure. He said he’s to undergo surgery soon to remove the cancerous part of the tumor from his right shoulder, before irradiating it in an effort to slow its regrowth. Hare doesn’t know how long he has to live, but works tirelessly through his pain to make Evinity profitable.
The two surviving employees of this venture will hopefully be able to continue his work. Please buy a mug, CD-ROM, or simply make a donation to ISTA in John’s memory and help his vision survive.
ברוּך דיין האמת ֨ Blessed be the righteous judge
Make the God-name big.
Big and holy.
Do it in this world,
This creation sprung from consciousness,
And bring some order to this.
Do it fast, soon, in our lives, in the days ahead, in the life of the
people we call home.
Everybody join with me: May the Name be blessed forever and ever!
Blessed, whispered, sung out, shouted, honored, this holy name.
The Name is beyond any song, poem, or comforting words we could ever speak.
Eveybody say: That’s the truth!
May a big peace descend from the heavens, a life-giving peace for all
of us, for our beloved people,
Let everybody say: May it be true!
Make that peace in the heavens, great peacemaker, great One who brings
wholeness to our people.
May it be true.