The International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) is bringing to a close its adventurous Library Project. This amazing venture reviewed all English-language writings in the religion-and-science field to construct a library of about 250 classics. These books were then specially bound and distributed as a complete collection to 150 libraries worldwide. As a member of the editorial board that made the selections, I can attest to how much work was involved in constructing the library. It was a serious re-education in the diversity of work that exists, and it presented a wonderful opportunity to solidify friendships with other board members. But the board's work was the thin end of the wedge.
Project Director Dr. Pranab Das (right) had to run the entire project, including negotiations with publishers and printers on one end and navigating the wilds of the import-export rules of four dozen separate countries. All this while managing both ISSR and the agency funding the project, The John Templeton Foundation. He also produced the compendium volume explaining the library and reviewing every item within it. This is an amazing feat of administrative genius and everyone interested in religion-and-science scholarship is deeply in Pranab's debt.
Recently the ISSR Library Project issued the following press release (dated January 9, 2012).
ISSR Libraries awarded worldwide
The International Society for Science and Religion is proud to announce the awarding of complete sets of the volumes comprising the ISSR Library to 150 institutions worldwide. Recipients include institutions of higher learning and research centers in 47 countries and six continents.
The ISSR Library is the essential reference collection for scholars, students and interested lay readers, spanning books directly focusing on science and religion and also important foundational works in related and underlying subjects. Selected from over two thousand candidate volumes by a rigorous process of nomination and peer review, the Library consists of two hundred and twenty five titles. An introductory essay on each title along with full listings of all selections and categorized sub-listings is available on the website www.issrlibrary.org.
Supported by a one million pound grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the ISSR Library Project is based at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University. Its Executive Editor is Dr. Pranab Das, Professor of Physics at Elon University. The Editorial Board consists of Dr. Philip Clayton, Dr. John Hedley Brooke, Dr. Wesley Wildman, Dr. V.V. Raman and Dr. Ron Cole-Turner as ISSR Executive Liaison and Dr. Christopher Knight as Secretary. The Program Assistant is Sharon Mellul.