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Volunteers Book Preparation, Translators, and Audio Books

CCEL's ability to continue its mission would not be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers who provide their time, knowledge, and resources. Volunteering benefits millions of CCEL visitors!

This discussion group attempts to set up a structure where volunteers can help and encourage each other, keep track of what is being done, and find out what volunteering options are available.

CCEL requests help with recording audio books, and marking books up. These are the primary volunteer tasks, but we have had volunteers work on book translation and a few other tasks (see list at the bottom of this page) as well. Volunteer Tasks and Discussion Threads Introductions: Tell us a little about yourself!

DON'T PANIC: Questions and Discussions on the Training Threads

Creating Audio Books

CCEL Bibliography

Task Training Threads:

Locating Library of Congress Control Numbers

Write A Product Review

Book Introduction

Adding Biographical Information

Adding Subject Tags

Translating Books

Cataloging Books

Adding Tags

Adding Page Breaks

Suggestions for Book Installations (requires some .xml knowledge)

Loutzenhiser's picture

Beginning To Convert a Book from a Word Doc to Basic HTML

This is easy Friends. All you are going to do here is add in some text called Tags. This is the first step to begin converting a text or word document to it's final form.

Recording Audio/MP3 Books: Reservations, Information, and Completed Books

CCEL is always looking for volunteers to read/record audio books in MP3 format. Volunteers might be surprised how little technical experience is involved, and recording books is a valuable resource for many of our members who are visually impaired or enjoy listening to audio books.

hplantin's picture

CCEL book bibliography

We maintain a database of books we have, books wanted, priorities, book statuses, etc. It's really mainly for internal use but I've made the page available for other interested people. The URL is http://www.ccel.org/bibliography. (It's also linked in the left sidebar of the "About the CCEL" page.)

We are able to give individuals permission to edit the bibliography. If you feel called to helping develop this list of books we want to add to the CCEL, helping locate copies on-line, etc., please contact me.

Loutzenhiser's picture

Beginning ThML

There are a number of books on Project Gutenberg (and elsewhere) that would make good additions for the CCEL. They have to be converted to ThML (the CCEL's XML-based markup language) in order to be added. In fact, there are some books already at the CCEL that still haven't been converted to ThML.

This process requires some knowledge of XML, but it isn't too difficult for someone who knows something about XML and can use a text editor and XML parser (or XML editor). It would be helpful if they can also run a couple of perl scripts that are already written.

Adding Page Breaks to .xml Documents (Easy to Learn!)

An easy way to start learning .XML is to add ‘page break’ tags to books.

This is a relatively easy task, and it normally doesn’t take too long (although it depends on the length of the book). An average size book can usually be completed in an hour or two.

Any book without pages numbers in the .pdf format is a candidate to have pb tags added (page numbers are generally in maroon colored boxes at the top left of page).


CCEL, being an electronic library, assigns call numbers (using the Library of Congress system) to the books we install. For various reasons, some of our books don't receive call numbers or are given incorrect call numbers. If you come across books that are missing call numbers (or have incorrect call numbers), please email this information to Ken Verhulst (or post it here!).


Translating Books

As many of you may know, CCEL is accessed by individuals throughout the world. We ship almost as many of our CDs outside of the United States as we ship inside the U.S. We regularly get requests to include books in foreign languages, to include MP3 files with audio in foreign languages, and the like.

CCEL is limited in terms of time and financial resources, and this limits what types of resources we can provide on our Web site. In the case of foreign language material, we are even more limited in that our staff of 4 employees is pretty limited in foreign language experience.

Adding Subject Tags

This is the place to ask questions, provide advice, and discuss the task of adding subject tags for CCEL books.

Here's a brief task description:

Adding subject tags to Book Pages is quick and easy, and it makes our new subject search more useful. You can add tags while reading any book page by simply typing relevant subject words into the "Tag this page" box on the CCEL Toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Just type a word and press the Enter key to add the tag.

Not sure what words to use as tags? Here are some tips:

Adding Biographical Information

We've completed adding basic biographical information on most of our CCEL authors, but we are still working on adding biographical information for our Hymnary composers. Using information from a a Google search or from Wikipedia, rewrite the important facts into a short paragraph or two (give credit to the sources as appropriate), and submit it to our system. We would also like a picture of the CCEL author and composers when possible, and this could be emailed to us as an attachment.

Email them to Ken Verhulst.

Book Descriptions

Thanks to the help of a very generous volunteer, CCEL has completed the task of including short biographies of most of the authors of the books included in the CCEL library. We would also like to include very brief book descriptions or book introductions on the books included in the CCEL library.

To get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish, here is a book description which can be found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kempis/imitation

hplantin's picture

DON'T PANIC - Questions not covered by the Training Threads

Ask your questions here on any of the Tasks covered in this group.

Loutzenhiser's picture


Say hello and introduce yourself

Group Manager, Ken Verhulst (ktv5@calvin.edu)