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Preserving & Resurrecting Orthodox Christian Voices Through Digital Technology

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Source: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

So many brilliant and renowned theologians and teachers have graced the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary over its 80-year history. We are so pleased that now you can literally hear their voices in hundreds of lectures and talks that had been in danger of being lost or forgotten. A new website,digi.svots.edu, launched this week to preserve and resurrect these precious recordings for a new generation.

The project is a combined effort by St. Vladimir’s Seminary and the Virginia H. Farah Foundation. The website makes available for the first time in digital format, older, analog recordings of renowned professors and guest lecturers from SVOTS past and present, including Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, Fr. Thomas Hopko, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Sophie Koulomzin, Jaroslav Pelikan, Veselin Kesich, Fr. Paul Lazor, Fr. John Erickson, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Fr. John Breck, George Cronk, David Drillock, Fr. John Behr, Serge Verhovskoy, and many others.

Between the early 1970s and the late 1990s, cassettes of many class lectures, seminars, and institutes held on the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary were often accessed by library patrons. However, as audio technology rapidly advanced and the public began to discard their cassette players, use of the library’s cassette collection languished, and important voices once heard in the Orthodox Church were silenced.

Funding from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation for this digitization project brought to life and light the voices of these Orthodox Christian luminaries, helping to spread their ever-relevant words “to the ends of the world” (Ps 19.4). Moreover, the Foundation’s funding for this initial project provided a solid basis for SVOTS library staff to build future digital collections—another important step in a continuing endeavor to keep pace with advancing technologies.

In partnership with the Foundation, SVOTS Web Services Director Alexandru Popovici converted around 500 cassettes held in the Seminary’s Father Georges Florovsky Library to digital format, making their contents accessible and portable not only to a new generation but also to a global audience.

Our sincere gratitude goes to the Farah Foundation and Alexandru for their work and support to make this incredible resource a reality.

Access to the recordings on digi.svots is free but requires registering for a free account. To register and learn more about the project, visit digi.svots.edu.

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