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13 presentations on how digital technologies are supporting Bahá’í scholarship. Webmasters, bibliographers, genealogists, and archivists speak about their journey in reference projects: origins, progress, and insights into how their projects are used.
See also Hassall's 2003 International Conference on Bahá'í Libraries and Archives, and the "Yerrinbool" reports from 1997, 1998, and 1999.

The Reference Desk:
Projects that Support Bahá'í Scholarship in the Digital Age

edited by Graham Hassall
About: Scholarship has always progressed with the support of reference services and resources: book collections, organized libraries, catalogues, bibliographies, specialised dictionaries, chronologies, glossaries, and subject indexes. For the most such services were costly to maintain and only available through institutions such as universities, government agencies and the larger public libraries. In the digital age these services have expanded through new “portals”, some of which are open-source (free to the public) and others accessible through “pay-walls” (through subscription).

This series of online sessions will explore the ways in which digital platforms and technologies are supporting Bahá’í Scholarship. Webmasters, bibliographers, genealogists, librarians and archivists, will speak about their journey in reference projects: their origins, progress, transitions, and insights into how their projects are currently being used as well as the potential they see for the future.

Presentations were given early morning Sundays, Queensland Australia time (timed to best accommodate a global audience). The playlist for the series is at


1. The scanning project;, bahaipedia.orgDavid Haslip2022-02-13
2. Populating Wikipedia and other, newspapers.comSteven Kolins2022-02-20
3. Genealogywikitree.comVicky Majewski2022-02-27
4. Bibliography and Cooney2022-04-03
5. Cataloguing and subject indexingloomofreality.orgSteven Phelps2022-04-10
6. BibliographySteve Cooney2022-04-17
7. World Association to Promote Bahá'í Libraries and Archivesbahailibraryandarchives.orgWilliam Collins,
Ailsa Leftwich,
Louise Mould
8. Wiki-based categorization systems: and bahaipedia.orgDan Jones 2022-05-01
9. Bahá'í Library Onlinebahai-library.comJonah Winters2022-05-08
10. The Afnan Libraryafnanlibrary.orgMoojan Momen2022-05-15
11. German Archives; Hermann Grossmann archiveAlexander Meinhard2022-05-22
12. Wiki-based categorization systems: Bahai9bahai9.comBrett Zamir2022-06-05
13. Bahá'í eBooksbahaiebooks.orgColleen Dawes2022-06-12
14. Summary sessionGraham Hassall2022-06-19

1. The scanning project

This is the first presentation in the 2022 series "The Reference Desk". David Haslip describes his projects in digitizing Bahai historical material such as newsletters, magazines, books, filmstrips, videos and cassette tapes and making them available online. Online at

Presented on February 12/13. See PDF of the presentation slides.

Sites referenced:,, and See also Dan Jones' presentation.

2. Populating Wikipedia and other platforms

In this presentation on the weekend of 19/20 February 2022 Steven Kolins describes his search and editing activities on Wikipedia, Bahaipedia and other platforms. Online at

See PDF of the presentation notes.

Sites referenced:á'í_Faith,, and See also Computers in the Bahá'í Community through Ridván 1992 (Kollins & Deamer, 1992).

(recorded at lower resolution due to network congestion)

3. Genealogy

In this presentation on February 26/27 Vicki Majewski describes the Bahai Project on the genealogy site Wikitree. Online at

Sites referenced:á'í_Faith,á'í_Faith. See also Genealogies of Bahá'ís on WikiTree (Majewski & Osborn, 2022).

4. Bibliography and Cataloguing

In this presentation on the weekend of 2/3 April 2022, Steve Cooney explains his project to catalogue Bahai materials for the New Zealand Bahai library. Online at

See presentation notes in PDF or Powerpoint.

Sites referenced:, See also and

5. Cataloguing and subject indexing at

In this session given on the weekend of 9/10 April 2022 Steven Phelps speaks about projects in cataloguing and subject indexing, based on his blog and website Online at

See PDF of the presentation slides.

Sites referenced:,,, and

6. Bibliography

In this session recorded on 17th April 2022 Steve Cooney describes his interest in Bahai Bibliography. Online at

7. World Association to Promote Bahá'í Libraries and Archives

On 23/24 April 2022 Louise Mould, Bill Collins, and Ailsa Hedley Leftwich shared their perspectives on Bahai Libraries and Archives. The session provided an overview of the functions and procedures of libraries and archives; some aspects of the current situation of Bahai libraries and archives; and prospects for developing capacities for the future improvement of these facilities. Online at

Mould's topic is "Libraries and Librarians"; see her presentation slides in PDF or Powerpoint. Collins' topic is "The Reference Section"; see his presentation slides in PDF or Powerpoint. Hedley Leftwich's presentation is "The Reference Desk: Archives."

Sites referenced: See also

8. Wiki-based categorization systems:

On April 30/May 1 Dan Jones introduces the site - an independent, community built repository for images, pdf files, audio talks and other media related to the Bahá’í Faith. Online at

See PDF of the presentation slides.

Sites referenced: and Haslip's earlier presentation. See also and

9. Bahá'í Library Online

On 7/8 May 2022 Jonah Winters spoke about his website This leading independent Bahai Studies portal has been online for almost three decades [sic: 25 years]. The session provides insights into the website's origins, purpose, structure, usability, challenges, maintenance, management, and future directions.

Online at (Graham's version) or (Jonah's version).

See full presentation Bahá'í Library Online at 25: Background, Functioning, and Future and presentation script.

Sites referenced:,

Video version #1: recorded from Winters' screen
(full-screen of presenter and other speakers, instead of thumbnails)

Video version #2: recorded from Hassall's screen
(includes participant thumbnails; see full-screen version below)

10. The Afnan Library

In this session of "the Reference Desk" recorded on the weekend of 14/15 May 2022, Dr Moojan Momen describes the origins and development of the UK-based Afnan Library, established to house the books and papers of Hand of the Cause Hasan Balyuzi (1908-1980). This specialist collection promarily consists of materials related to Babi and Bahai history, in addition to broader religious and historical themes. a certain proportion of material has been digitized and made available on the library's website. Online at

Sites referenced:

11. The German Archives and library and digitization of the Hermann Grossmann archive

In this session of The Reference Desk recorded May 21/22, Alexander Meinhard describes his work with collection and digitization of the German Archives and library as well as the papers of Hermann Grossmann (1899-1968). Online at

See PDF of the presentation slides.

Sites referenced:

12. Wiki-based categorization systems: Bahai9

On June 4/5 Brett Zamir introduces the Bahai9 wiki project - an online compendium that uses a wiki format as a platform for interacting with Bahai texts. Online at

See a series of videos going in further depth about Bahai9 at

See PDF of the presentation slides.

Sites referenced:

13. Bahá'í eBooks

In this session of the Reference Desk series, recorded on 12th June 2022, Colleen Dawes explains the origins of the platform. Online at

Sites referenced:

14. Summary session for "The Reference Desk" series

This session, from June 18/19, draws together some conclusions and insights to complete the "Reference Desk" series. Online at

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