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Digitization of Theosophical Writing

Anand Gholap

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  1. Objectives of Digitizing Theosophical writing
  2. Writing to be digitized
  3. About Copyright Act
  4. Procedure of Digitization
  5. Contact if you are already having writing in digital form or if you are digitizing some books or for more information
Objectives of Digitizing Theosophical Writing
  1. There is much Theosophical literature written by great occultists: C. W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, C. Jinarajadasa, Geoffrey Hodson, Clara Codd, I. K. Taimni, G. S. Arundale and N. Sri Ram. To write literature of that quality and usefulness, very high occult development and Masters' guidance is required. As we know they had written it taking great pains in most adverse conditions just to benefit people. The writing and speeches were printed in around thousand books and articles, magazines like The Theosophist, Theosophical Review, Adyar Pamphlets, Herald of the Star, Lucifer etc.
          Most of those prints are now more than 70 years old and are likely to perish soon. Hard copies of that will not be available for reference and study, so it is urgent and important that we should save that material in some electronic form, preferable on compact discs (CDs), which could be made available to generations to come, for thousands of years.
Copies of CDs can be given to Theosophical Lodges and students of Theosophy for reference. This way that precious literature can be saved before being totally lost and members will benefit enormously.
  1. To promote second objective of the Theosophical Society which is to encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science- by making available all the literature to students of Theosophy conveniently, at very low cost.
  2. To reduce energy, time and cost of accessing books, incurred by officers of Lodges and students of Theosophy. Large number of students of Theosophy stay far away from Theosophical library. CDs will save energy, time and money spent on frequent traveling to library for exchanging books.
  3. WRITING TO BE DIGITIZED
All books, magazines, pamphlets published by The Theosophical Society since it's foundation in 1875 till 2002.
All books of imminent authors like Annie Besant , C. W. Leadbeater, T. Subba Rao, G. S. Arundale, C. Jinarajadasa, H. S. Olcott, I. K. Taimni, Geoffrey Hodson, N. Sri Ram etc.
Magazines The Theosophist, Lucifer, Theosophical Review, Herald of the Star, The Theosophical Messenger
Adyar Pamphlets
*Imminent authors like I.K. Taimni, Geoffrey Hodson, Clara Codd, C. Jinarajadasa, G. S. Arundale, N. Sri Ram etc. published lot of writing. They were the editors of 'The Theosophist' and quality of everything that was printed by the Theosophical Publishing House was carefully controlled by them. So when one gets something printed by TPH it had direct or indirect approval of these great occultists.
Printing in last five years or so was done on computer, so that need not be again digitized. Almost all books, meant for sale, as given in Catalogue of TPH, contains books which are already in digital form. But printing done before that needs to be digitized.

ABOUT COPYRIGHT ACT
As per copyright act, when 60 (sixty) years after death of the author are over, his writing and speeches become free from copyright. Then any person or publisher is allowed to publish work of the author in any form; paper, electronic etc.
As sixty years are over after physical death of  H. S. Olcott, A. P. Sinnett, Annie Besant, C. W. Leadbeater and most of their contemporaries, their all writing and speeches have become free from copyright and anybody can publish it again in any form; paper, digital etc.
Original scanned graphic images (photos) of books to be preserved on CDs as they are very useful to know in future how the original book looked like, where the paragraphs were made, numbering of pages and verify that the text in circulation is exactly as per the original book. Over the period of time, words of original author get changed by mistake of people causing much loss to mankind as has happened with most of the ancient writing.
These photos will be kept at important and safe places like different national headquarters. Officers will be able to see on computer these photos of books and check the text whenever required.
* On CDs also, page numbers as appeared in original book should be maintained as references need to be given always by lecturers, writers and students.
* For distribution among people, HTML format is better, as HTML files have smaller size and every computer has web browser to read HTML files. Just as this whole report is one web page (in HTML format), whole book can be easily given as one web page even if paper-book may have 900 pages.
PROCEDURE OF DIGITIZING
(In short, person has to scan a good photocopy of a book, software automatically recognizes text in the scanned image and converts it into text file. It saves lot of energy and time and makes digitizing extremely easy)
In detail procedure of automatic digitizing of books and convert text into electronic form, using Optical Character Recognition Software
(without having to type)
Most of the scanners come with some free Optical Character Recognition software,  e.g. FineReader from www.abbyy.com  , OmniPage etc.  These are sufficient to scan and convert books into digital text files.
Scanners with ADF are available at http://www.hp.com
Multi Function Devices (MFDs) also have Automatic Document Feeding facility.
 Original scanned graphic images (photos) of books to be preserved on CDs as they are very useful to know in future how the original book looked like, where the paragraphs were made, numbering of pages and verify that the text in circulation is exactly as per the original book. Over the period of time, words of original author get changed by mistake of people causing much loss for mankind as has happened with most of the ancient writing in which there is no way of knowing what reached us is exactly what writer wrote or not.
These photos will be kept at important and safe places in different countries. Officers will be able to see on computer these photos of books and check the text whenever required.
* On CDs also, page numbers as appeared in original book should be maintained as references need to be given always by lecturers, writers and students.
* For distribution among people, HTML format is better, as HTML files have smaller size and every computer has web browser to read HTML files. Just as this whole report is one web page (in HTML format), whole book can be easily given as one web page even if paper-book may have 900 pages.
One CD can contain many thousand books.
Contact
Those who are already having Theosophical writing in digital form or digitizing some works, are requested to communicate it at e-mail- AnandGholap@gmail.com
If any more information is required it may be asked at the same e-mail address.
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