Monday, November 22, 2010

Reporting from SBL - SBL's Bible Odyssey

The SBL announced in their September newsletter:

This August SBL submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities a grant to build a website for the general public, called Bible Odyssey (the previous working title was World of the Bible). In the past year SBL and an advisory team used an NEH planning grant to develop the site concept and a prototype design. (Stop by our table at the Annual meeting for a preview.)

The site will be a useful undergraduate classroom tool and will offer SBL members a chance to hone their public communication skills. We will hear from NEH about funding in April 2011. 

I got to see and have attached pics of a few pages of this still-very-much-a-prototype project. (It is not yet close to ready to go online, so these are pictures of the screens.)  If you look closely, you can see that it is organized by People, Places, Passages, Themes, Traditions, and Maps.

I am hoping the NEH funding comes through. The resource will be positioned as a high-quality site generated by reputable scholars that will be accessible to a popular audience. You can see that it is highly visual, but it does also maintain a text navigation system. I did encourage them to consider how it might function on mobile platforms where it seems more and more people are working online. I see it as a good resource to refer students and laypersons for quick reference.

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