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Information about The Digital Karl Barth Library
  Release 6:   October, 2010.
1. Introduction - a description of the contents of the database and its purpose.
2. Editorial Policy - detailed criteria used in selecting materials.
3. Editorial Advisors - scholars who have helped in the construction of the database.
4. Errata - known typographical and software errors to be fixed next release.
5. Release Notes - notes on this version.
6. Software Requirements - notes on which browsers are supported.
7. Technical Support - whom to contact for technical support.
8. Subscription and Free Trial Information - how to get a subscription or a trial.
9. License Agreement - licensing terms and conditions.
10. Acknowledgements - charter customers and individuals who contributed.
11. Copyright Statement - copyright terms and conditions.
12. Archiving - how this material is preserved for the future.
13. Cataloging Records - what kind of MARC records will be available for this collection.

1.    An Introduction to The Digital Karl Barth Library

In association with the Theologischer Verlag Zürich (TVZ) and Princeton Theological Seminary, Alexander Street Press is pleased to offer students and scholars this unprecedented digital resource. Combining comprehensiveness with a carefully crafted set of text-analysis tools, The Digital Karl Barth Library will support innovative research into the works of one of the twentieth century's most influential theologians.

The collection features the entire corpus of Barth's Gesamtausgabe. Published under the TVZ imprint, this definitive edition of Barth's works in German currently comprises more than 40 volumes of sermons, letters, lectures, conversations, and academic writings. Also slated for inclusion in The Digital Karl Barth Library is Barth's magnum opus, the 14-volume Kirchliche Dogmatik. These works have been made available to Alexander Street Press through a special licensing arrangement with the TVZ.

The origins of the project date to a grant awarded to Princeton Theological Seminary in 2000 by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for the purpose of preserving and compiling the works of Karl Barth. Working closely with the TVZ, Princeton Theological Seminary used the grant to digitize many of the texts that are now being made available on the Alexander Street Press platform.

Every document in The Digital Karl Barth Library is hand-keyed and features metadata tagging specifically designed to meet the research needs of religious-studies scholars. The same dedication to scholarly research has guided the development of Alexander Street's search and presentation platform, which enables users to perform highly sophisticated searches and to view, organize, and analyze results with extraordinary speed and precision. For example, researchers can return comprehensive, accurate results in seconds for the following kinds of queries:

  • Find all references to Hitler in Barth's letters;
  • In Barth's academic writings, identify words that occur most frequently in close proximity with the keyword λογος;
  • Locate instances where Barth discusses tribulation and suffering in his sermons;
  • Searching all Barth's works, find all citations of Romans, chapter one.

Our goal is to provide resources that open new avenues of research for the next generation of scholars. We welcome your comments and suggestions as we strive to accomplish that goal.

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2.   Editorial Policy

Content for the initial releases of The Digital Karl Barth Library has been provided by the TVZ and Princeton Theological Seminary, based on digitization efforts funded by the original Lilly Endowment grant. XML transcriptions have been created using the scholarly editions of Barth's works published by the TVZ. As the TVZ continues publication of Barth's Gesamtausgabe, future volumes in this series will be digitized and added to the electronic collection, typically with a one-year lag between print publication and upload of the electronic version.

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3. Editorial Board

The following scholars advise Alexander Street Press on an ongoing basis and have been instrumental in the creation of The Digital Karl Barth Library.

Niklaus Peter studied theology in Basel, Berlin, and Princeton. Having written his Ph.D. thesis on Franz Overbeck, he has since published numerous articles on the theologian and has served as co-editor of Franz Overbeck: Werke und Nachlass. Dr. Peter has held positions as Lecturer on the History of Theology at the University of Basel and as Chaplain at the University of Bern. From 2000 to 2004 he was Director of the Theologischer Verlag Zürich. A member of the Karl Barth Foundation, Dr. Peter co-edits and contributes to the journal Reformatio and writes for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He has been pastor of Zürich's Fraumünster Church since 2004.

Hans-Anton Drewes studied theology in Bonn, Zürich, and Tübingen, where he received his Ph.D. in 1979. Dr. Drewes has worked as a Research Associate at the Institute for Hermeneutics of the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Tübingen and as an editor of the journal Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche. The editor of multiple volumes of Karl Barth's Gesamtausgabe, he has served as the Director of the Karl Barth Archive in Basel since 1997.

Clifford B. Anderson is the Curator of Special Collections at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has published articles about Karl Barth in such journals as American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Cultural Encounters, and Zeitschrift für dialektische Theologie.

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4.   Errata

Our goal is to have no errors in this database.   Please report any errors by sending an e-mail to

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5.   Release Notes

This release of The Digital Karl Barth Library features features Die kirchliche Dogmatik and its translation in English, The Church Dogmatics, in their entirety. Also included are volumes 1-45 of Barth's Gesamtausgabe, seven additional works in German, and English translations of thirteen important texts by Barth.

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6.   Software Requirements

The Digital Karl Barth Library is optimized to operate with Netscape Navigator Version 1.2 or higher or Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 or higher. 

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7.   Technical Support

You can contact us by:

When reporting a problem please include your customer name, e-mail address, phone number, domain name or IP address and that of your web proxy server, if used.

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8.   Subscription and Free Trial Information

The Digital Karl Barth Library is available for one-time purchase of perpetual access or as an annual subscription. Please contact us at if you wish to begin a subscription or to request a free 30-day trial.

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9.   License Agreement

Terms of Use

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10.   Acknowledgements

Our thanks to:


Stephen D. Crocco

James Lenox Librarian, Princeton Theological Seminary

Clifford B. Anderson

Curator of Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary

Niklaus Peter

Former Director, Theologischer Verlag Zürich

Marianne Stauffacher

Director, Theologischer Verlag Zürich

Hans-Anton Drewes

Director, Karl Barth Archive

James R. Adair

Director, Religion and Technology Center

Peter Cooper

VP, Product Management, Alexander Street Press

Martin Latterner

Indexer, Alexander Street Press

Pat Carlson

Production, Alexander Street Press

Zoshia Minto

Production, Alexander Street Press

Michelle Eldridge

Production, Alexander Street Press

Phillip Kuna

Production, Alexander Street Press

Feng Chen

Software Development, Alexander Street Press

Charles Cooney

Software Development, University of Chicago

Mark Olsen

Software Development, University of Chicago

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11.   Copyright Statement

All materials in The Digital Karl Barth Library are protected under U.S. and International Copyright Law. Fair use under the law permits reproduction of single copies for personal research and private use. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of protected items requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

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12.   Archiving

Texts produced for The Digital Karl Barth Library are considered research materials and receive the same level of stewardship as books, paper documents, and photographs. Once complete, copies of the database will be given to all purchasing institutions, so ensuring that the materials are available to subsequent generations.

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13.   Cataloging Records

MARC records will be available for this collection at project completion. Records will point to each book, series, or manuscript. This will enable patrons to link directly from a public access catalog to all documents pertaining to that publication.

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