Download complete Bahá'í Library Online:
1. Download torrents (see descriptions below)
This document provides an overview of these backups, and the column descriptions for the MySQL database running bahai-library.com. The torrents are updated annually. All documents are either public domain; posted with permission of author, editor, or publisher; or can be classified "fair use." If you see content that may infringe on a copyright, email me
The database (Torrent #1, above) is saved as a plain-text csv file which can be imported into any database program. It includes a separate database for the Bahá'í Chronology. Some content has been excluded, e.g. documents still being edited, or withdrawn by request.
Passwords and private content (the PHP files and the complete, unsanitized database) are held by David Merrick and Adib Masumian, and they have permission to adopt/maintain the Library if I pass unexpectedly. Most of the site is also at archive.org.
If you don't already have a BitTorrent client I recommend uTorrent for Windows and Transmission for Mac. As there are not many seeders, you might have to wait a few hours before the torrent starts.
3. Some possible uses
- Anyone with "valuable" or unique content they don't want lost (e.g. historical photos, scans of manuscripts, autobiographies) can send it to me for inclusion in the torrent.
- In the late 1990s, people made CD-ROM copies of the bahai-library.com filesystem to share with friends in countries with limited internet access. This stopped being possible when the collection became too large for any CD or DVD, and when the content was migrated to a database. Now, the database or parts of the entire collection (e.g., just the PDFs or just the audio) can be shared on a flash drive or USB stick or converted into a spreadsheet.
- The data will no longer be tied to a single owner on a single server, and hence can be preserved. This is important because websites can simply disappear overnight: some can fail accidentally, like from a failed hard drive, or they can disappear due to circumstances beyond the owner's control.
Regarding the MySQL database (Torrent #1), some limitations of its current setup include:
- It is not the complete bahai-library.com, but only about 90% of its content; more details below.
- Authors with multiple names or middle names have to be squeezed into the binary "first name / last name" fields.
- Documents with more than 4 authors have "et al." as the fourth author.
- Only two editions of books can be defined: the original edition, and the edition currently being posted.
- Articles that have appeared in two journals are only listed by their first publication, e.g. bahai-library.com/hassall_search_technologies.
- It is not the complete MySQL catalogue at bahai-library.com (and Torrent #2, "all files," does not include another couple thousand documents waiting to be sorted or approved). As well, a couple hundred documents (mostly books posted in the 1990s) have not been imported into the database yet but remain online only in the old filesystem; most content at bahai-library.com/Newspapers will probably never be migrated; and all binary documents (like .pdf, .mp3, and .doc) are only in the filesystem (download those in Torrent #2).
- The Forum is also not included, but it is preserved at archive.org.
- A few dozen documents in the database have not yet been approved for posting, are in various stages of being edited, or have been withdrawn by request; these are not included.
5. Descriptions of fields in Torrent #1, the 60MB archive of the database
(for security, the actual field names are not included)
- ID # of document (e.g. bahai-library.com/123)
- AUTHOR 1 last name
- AUTHOR 1 first name
- AUTHOR 1 last name as published (if different)
- AUTHOR 1 first name as published (if different)
- AUTHOR 2 last name
- AUTHOR 2 first name
- AUTHOR 3 last name
- AUTHOR 3 first name
- AUTHOR 4 last name
- AUTHOR 4 first name
- EDITOR 1 last name
- EDITOR 1 first name
- EDITOR 1 job (editor, translator, compiler)
- EDITOR 2 last name
- EDITOR 2 first name
- EDITOR 2 job (editor, translator, compiler)
- LANGUAGE 1 first edition
- LANGUAGE 2 first edition
- LANGUAGE 3 first edition
- LANGUAGE 1 current edition
- LANGUAGE 2 current edition
- LANGUAGE 3 current edition
- FILE NAME
- PUBLISHER first edition
- EDIT/PROOF QUALITY (on a scale of 1-3)
- FORMAT QUALITY (on a scale of 1-3)
- PUBLISHER current edition
- CITY OF PUBLISHER first edition
- CITY OF PUBLISHER current edition
- DATE PUBLISHED first edition (YYYY-MM-DD)
- ISBN current edition
- ISBN-13 current edition
- ISBN first edition
- DATE PUBLISHED current edition
- COLLECTION 1
- COLLECTION 2
- COLLECTION 3
- TITLE first edition
- TITLE PUNCTUATION (things preceding the title which would hinder alphabetization, like ` or ")
- TITLE current edition
- SUBTITLE current edition
- TITLE OF PARENT (journal or book containing this document)
- PAGE RANGE
- PAGE TOTAL
- CROSS-REFERENCES (by URL)
- AUDIO LINK (if any)
- INPUT METHOD (scanned, typed, transcribed)
- INPUT BY
- INPUT DATE (YYYY-MM-DD)
- PROOFREAD BY
- PROOFREAD DATE
- (A limitation of the current system is that, unlike wikis, version histories are not preserved; only one date and version are given for proofread-by and formatted-by)
- FORMATTED BY (again, only the initial person who applied formatting is listed)
- FORMATTED DATE
- POSTED DATE
- POSTED BY
- PERMISSION GIVEN BY
- HIT COUNT
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
- OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
- CONTENT (the actual document, excluding the above meta-data)
6. Contents of Torrent #2, the 21GB torrent of all files
- 13 GB - /audio
- This is by far the biggest folder. Uncheck it prior to downloading to minimize your download.
- 33 MB - /bafa
- Bahá'í Association for the Arts; independently curated.
- 230 MB - /docs
- Microsoft Word and Word Perfect files.
- 2 MB - /htu
- Old "Healing through Unity" newsletter.
- 1 GB - /images
- All image files.
- 17 MB - /newspapers
- Most newspaper articles have not been imported into the MySQL database, but remain as HTML files.
- 7 GB - /pdf
- All PDFs. Folder includes:
- 34 MB - /presentations
- PowerPoint and Keynote documents.
- 5 MB - /russian
- Some older files from the independently-curated Russian archive.
- 11 MB - /stamps
- Bahá'í Philately, independently curated.
- 310 MB - /video
- small collection of academic talks or historical items
- 550 MB - /wttp
- Windows to the Past; independently curated.