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Miscellaneous Brethren Bodies

This site is hosted by BrethrenArchives.Com as a service to historically minded researchers.  The development and concept has been primarily fielded by A. Wayne Webb, a long time supporter of the Brethren Community-At-Large thru his semi-regular postings to various online communities.

At present (Oct. 2010) only information concerning congregations discovered thru the research of the contributors, Wayne, Gale and Dennis, is presented online.  This information is based on actual newspaper articles long out of copyright.  In place, but used only as a research tool of the contributors, is a comprehensive updated listing of the various ministers discovered thru many years of research.  Because of possible copyright infringement with The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. this data is avialable only on a need to know basis.

Understanding the need for an update of the lists presented in The Brethren Encyclopedia, a contributing member acquired a copy of the third volume in the series and disassembled it for digital scanning and OCRing for his own purposes.  Mentioning this to another member it was decided to see if a research tool could be created for in-house use.  To this end the file was prepared using Microsoft's Word and updating begun.  The conventions utilized were to highlight in red any new or updated information as well as the source of it.  If needed vertical files were created for supporting information in various file formats and linked into the master ministerial file.  Finally, the contributing member's initials, or contributors, were recorded.

At the same time, using a slightly different technique, the congregational list was prepared using traditional publishing standards.  As discovered in the digital Brethren newspaper collection of Wayne, the microfilm collection of Dennis, or thru Gale's access to newspapers at The Brethren Heritage Center of Brookville, Ohio, articles of interest in regard to congregations, or meeting-houses, was meticulously transcribed, documented, and prepared for use.  Flat Microsoft Word files were created using a designed template which was then electronically linked to the appropriate entry in the congregational file.

This process worked well until the amount of information began to overwhelm the digital guru of the project, Wayne.  He was the "clearing-house" for the assimilation and thus creating the majority of the digital files and /or ensuring the accuracy of the information and the proper typesetting enforcement.  After discussion it was decided that all parties involved needed to be able to contribute to the online component fully, necessitating research into a method.

It was decided to go with a content management system in lieu of the more traditional HTML web site development.  The primary reason for the use of a CMS was the large amount of data that would be involved.  A more traditoinal web site would have involved thousands of individual pages for the congregations and an interminably long listing of ministers.  After due research and discovery a method put in place for web space, training, and software acquisition.  This has been a process fraught with a tight learning curve and financial strain but it is hoped that the effort is well received.

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