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Some structural or systemic improvements necessary for future Bahá'í Library expansion (excluding minor changes or new content), projected for 2022.

Proposed Changes for Version 5

by Jonah Winters

Update 2022 May: No progress has been made on the redevelopment, the programming team appears to have dissolved, and the project manager incommunicado. It seems we'll be making a new start later this year. But having said that, other behind-the-scenes changes have been coming along steadily; see Bahá'í Library Online at 25.

Update 2021 September: The programming has begun! Updates will be posted when I receive them.

Update 2021 August: Progress has begun on coordinating a team of programmers to build Version 5.

Update 2021 March: Version 5 initial development and planning has begun. More details will be posted here when available.

Every few years the Library grows enough to warrant a sub-version number. Once every 5-10 years the Library evolves enough to require a whole new version; see past versions. This document will track proposed changes to Version 5, circa 2022. It will not include all requested changes, as there are too many to possibly consider; see all those in Brett's and my To-Do list. Rather, this document will list changes that are more feasible or more necessary.

Some planned changes:
  1. Mobile interface
  2. Unified database:
  3. Authority control for authors:, which would also solve the problem of multiple spellings, e.g. "Masumian" and "Ma'sumian". Include option to tag other "authors" in a post, e.g. /yazdani_quiet_strangulation or /wilmette_lawh_maqsud_notes .
  4. Edit history
  5. Licenses and permissions. Separate editor/publisher. Change "open copyright". See
  6. Make public metadata search options, e.g. search Abstract or Parent or Publisher
  7. Tag table / master subject index
  8. Native push notifications
  9. EndNote and Marc export
  10. Incorporate diversity awareness, e.g. disclaimers on certain documents with now-outdated racial or non-inclusive terms
  11. Document-submission portal, scanned with VirusTotal, allowing for receiving, categorizing, vetting, editing, tagging
Design proposals:
  1. Logo, fonts, and colors concept art: zein_logo_design_concept_2022.pdf
Mistakes and other to-do:
  • multiple-authorship issues, e.g. Cole and UHJ
  • check "published as" fields
  • loss of initial punctuation in titles in Editing window
  • deal with redirects, e.g. (should be khanum_passing_shoghi-effendi)
  • move "ed." from volume field to new "editor" field for books
  • deal with surname fields e.g. "van den" / "Hoonaard"
  • Begin archiving regional newsletters, including sending requests to the Institutions
  • Title search issues: how search for a title that has embedded HTML (italics, ampersands, m-dashes)?
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