Bahá'í Library Online
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Download any or all of the Bahá'í Library files and database, shared via torrent for the purpose of distributed backup.

Download complete Bahá'í Library Online:
BitTorrent backup

  1. Download
  2. About
  3. Uses
  4. Limitations
  5. Column list of Torrent #1 (database)
  6. Description of Torrent #2 (all files)

1. Download torrents (see descriptions below)

Torrent #1: Download archive of database only (January 2020).
If that doesn't work, try this torrent at
56 MB, zipped
Torrent #2: Download archive of all files (January 2020).
If that doesn't work, try this torrent at
21 GB, zipped

2. About

This document provides an overview of these backups, and the column descriptions for the MySQL database running 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 Some content has been excluded, e.g. documents still being edited, or withdrawn by request.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

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

  1. 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.

  2. In the late 1990s, people made CD-ROM copies of the 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.

  3. 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.

4. Limitations

Regarding the MySQL database (Torrent #1), some limitations of its current setup include:

  1. It is not the complete, but only about 90% of its content; more details below.
  2. Authors with multiple names or middle names have to be squeezed into the binary "first name / last name" fields.
  3. Documents with more than 4 authors have "et al." as the fourth author.
  4. Only two editions of books can be defined: the original edition, and the edition currently being posted.
  5. Articles that have appeared in two journals are only listed by their first publication, e.g.
  6. It is not the complete MySQL catalogue at (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 will probably never be migrated; and all binary documents (like .pdf, .mp3, and .doc) are only in the filesystem (download those in Torrent #2).
  7. The Forum is also not included, but it is preserved at
  8. 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.
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
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
ISBN current edition
ISBN-13 current edition
ISBN first edition
DATE PUBLISHED current edition
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)
AUDIO LINK (if any)
INPUT METHOD (scanned, typed, transcribed)
(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)
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:
/pdf/bjuk - Bahá'í Journal (UK)
/pdf/bn - Bahá'í News (see more atá'í_News)
/pdf/bw - Bahá'í World (see more atá'í_World)
/pdf/irfancolloquia - Lights of Irfan
/pdf/solas - Solas journal
/pdf/sw - Star of the West (see more at
/pdf/wo - World Order (see more at
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.
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