ATI's Dhamma Transcription Project

The Transcription Project
is currently on hiatus.

— jtb, 2009

0. News   


Thanks to the generous efforts of about three dozen volunteers over the last 18 months, we've released onto the Internet more than 50 Dhamma books. As you might imagine, managing a project like this takes considerable time and effort. The time has come for me to take a breather, and I am suspending this project until further notice. I will continue adding new Dhamma books and sutta translations to the website, but at a much more leisurely pace, and not as part of a large coordinated project.

The Path of Purification, so ably transcribed by a group of 19 volunteers, is now in the hands of the BPS, which will assemble those transcriptions and proofread them, in preparation for the book's reprinting sometime in the next year or two.

1. Background   

What it is   

Begun in the spring of 2005, The Dhamma Transcription Project formalizes the ad hoc transcription procedures that I've been following over the past few years. The aims of the project are threefold:

  1. Accessibility: to transcribe into digital form high-quality free Dhamma books that have been previously published but which are out of print or otherwise hard to find, and to distribute those transcriptions freely via the Internet;
  2. Learning: to give volunteer transcribers the opportunity to study Dhamma by immersing themselves in good Dhamma books that they might not otherwise have the time to read;
  3. Service: to give volunteers the opportunity to contribute their time and energy for the benefit of other Buddhist students and practitioners around the world.
Access to Insight only distributes books for which the copyright holder explicitly grants permission for free online distribution.
How it works   
  1. I am always on the lookout for high-quality free Dhamma books, articles, and translations — especially those that are difficult to find in print. If a book seems especially suitable for distribution on Access to Insight, I contact the copyright holder (usually the author or publisher) and request permission for the book to be transcribed and distributed online. If the copyright holder grants permission, I add the book to the list of titles awaiting transcription.
  2. You choose a book from the list.
  3. If you don't own a copy, I send you a photocopy (yours to keep).
  4. You type or scan the book and spell-check it using your favorite word processor.
  5. You send the file to me via e-mail.
  6. I do the final proofreading and formatting of the book and eventually release it on Access to Insight.

There are no strict deadlines. You decide how fast you want to work — take a week or take six months; it's up to you. For details on the procedures, see "Instructions for transcribers."

Instructions for transcribers   
1. Choose a book.
From the list below, choose a book, and tell me which one you'd like to transcribe. If you do not own a copy of the book, please send me your postal mailing address, and I will send you a photocopy of the book (yours to keep). I'm happy to send it to you anywhere in the world. If you do own a copy of the book, please let me know which edition you have. If this is your first transcription for Access to Insight, please choose something relatively short so you can get the hang of it (Bodhi Leaf Publications are good starters).
2. Transcribe it.
Use your favorite word-processing program to type in the book (feel free to use a scanner, if that's helpful). Don't spend a lot of time making the layout and formatting look pretty (most of the formatting will be removed anyway); just type in the basic text, keeping just the minimum necessary formatting details (italics, footnotes, headers, etc.). If there are a lot of Pali words, please follow the Velthuis convention when typing them in. (Please note that the niggahiita m is sometimes represented in older books with a dot over the m. In these transcriptions, however, we'll be representing it with the dot under the m. Hence, please use .m for this character.) Spell-checking and proofreading is, of course, gratefully appreciated. To summarize:
Please pay attention to these:
Italicized text, bold text, footnote numbers, Velthuis spelling of Pali words, spell-checking.
Please do not worry about these:
Font or font size; ornaments (drop caps, dingbats, etc.); footnote formatting; hyperlinks; page width; text flow; text justification; spacing between sentences, lines, or paragraphs; page numbers.

Please take your time to enjoy the process and to give yourself a chance to learn a little Dhamma as you transcribe. Although there are no strict deadlines for this project, if you think you may need more than a couple of months to complete the transcription, or you if you run into unexpected delays along the way, please drop me a note to let me know. If at any point you run out of steam, or you're just not enjoying transcribing the particular book you chose, that's perfectly fine — just let me know and, if possible, send me whatever you have completed. Any little bit that you complete is valuable and greatly appreciated.

3. Send me the file.
Send me the file by e-mail. Please let me know to what extent you'd like to be credited for your work. Although I like being able to give transcribers credit (e.g., "Transcribed from the print edition by Susan Q. Scribe"), many prefer to remain anonymous ("Transcribed from the print edition by a volunteer"). I guarantee your privacy; I will never include e-mail addresses or other contact information in the credits.
4. Be patient.
It usually takes me a month or two to finish proofreading and formatting the book before I actually release it on Access to Insight. You can follow the progress of your transcription as it moves through the proofreading/formatting stage.
5. Anumodana!
This Pali word is difficult to translate into English, but it means something along the lines of "May the fruits of your skillful action be of benefit to all beings everywhere!" You can think of it as a Buddhist way of saying "Thank you for the good you have done." [For more on this, see "Anumodana" in Lay Buddhist Practice by Bhikkhu Khantipalo.]

2. Books under consideration   

— none at present —

3. Permission pending   

— none at present —

4. Books in search of a transcriber   

— none at present —

5. Transcriptions in Progress   

— none at present —

6. Formatting in progress   

— none at present —

7. Titles released (since May 2005)   

2007.07.16 Samyutta Anthology III (Walshe, ed.) [BPS Wheel No. 318] [V04; 070517 Word]
2007.04.26 Anguttara Nikaya: An Anthology (III) (Nyanaponika) [BPS Wheel No. 238/240] [V15; 070412 RTF]
2007.04.12 Psychology of Emotions in Buddhist Perspective (Padmasiri deSilva) [BPS Wheel No. 237] [V25; Word; being proofread by V29]
2007.04.05 Angulimala: A Murderer's Road to Sainthood (Hellmuth Hecker) [BPS Wheel No. 312] [V05; 070309 Word]
2007.03.27 Buddhism in Sri Lanka (H.R. Perera) [BPS Wheel No. 100] [V17 070322; +BPS/RTF edition]
2007.03.08 No-self Characteristic, On the (Dr. KNG Mendis) [BPS Wheel No. 268] [V01 2005.11.29: Word; proofed by V28 & V29]
2007.03.07 Be an Island unto Yourself (Khema) [V01 2005.07.19; Word; proofed by V29; copyright resolved] jtb 070308: although this transcription is quite accurate and true to the ms, the ms itself requires extensive editing. Wisdom Publications has done a fine job with their 1999 edition of Be An Island, which was edited by long-time AK student Sandy Boucher; readers should regard that book as the definitive edition. I see no reason to publish a somewhat deficient edition on ATI at this time.
2007.02.18 Samyutta Anthology II (Ñanananda) [BPS Wheel No. 183] [V18: Word]
2006.12.03 Three Basic Facts of Existence III: Egolessness (Nyanaponika, ed.) [BPS Wheel No. 202] [V20 2005.10.31: WPD]
2006.11.01 Threefold Refuge, The (Nyanaponika) [BPS Wheel No. 76] [V26]
2006.10.22 Abhidhamma in Practice, The [BPS Wheel No. 322] [V02 2005.11.29: Word]
2006.10.09 Buddha and his Dhamma, The (Bhikkhu Bodhi) [BPS Wheel No. 433/434] [V26 2005.10.31: Word; +BPS/Word]
2006.10.06 Three Basic Facts of Existence I: Impermanence (Nyanaponika, ed.) [BPS Wheel No. 186] [V20 2005.09.03: WP]
2006.09.28 Buddhist Monk's Discipline, The (Khantipalo) [BPS Wheel No. 130] [V24 2005.09.19: Word]
2006.09.21 Life's Highest Blessings (Dr. R.L. Soni) [BPS Wheel No. 254] [V01 2006.05.20: Word]
2006.09.12 Buddhist Stories from the Dhammapada Commentary (II) (Burlingame/Khantipalo) [BPS Wheel No. 324/5] [V14 2005.09.19: Word; +BPS/RTF]
2006.08.09 Four Nutriments of Life, The: An Anthology of Buddhist Texts (Nyanaponika) [BPS Wheel No. 105] [V27 2006.05.07: Word]
2006.07.13 Buddhist Layman, The (various authors) [BPS Wheel No. 294] [V21 2005.10.31: HTML]
2006.07.06 Pride and Conceit (Ashby & Fawcett) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 014] [DNET]
2006.07.06 Heart Awakened, The (Siriwardhana) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 093] [DNET]
2006.06.02 Seven Factors of Enlightenment, The (Piyadassi) [BPS Wheel No. 001] [V15 2005.09.19: Word]
2006.05.21 Samyutta Nikaya: An Anthology (Part I) (Ireland) [BPS Wheel No. 107] [V01 2006.03.14: Word]
2006.04.22 Buddhism and Sex (Walshe) [BPS Wheel No. 225] [V10 2005.09.20: Word]
{2006.04.22 Karma and Rebirth (Nyanatiloka Mahathera) [BPS Wheel No. 9] [V19 2005.09.21: Word] The text of this book appears in its entirety in Wheel 394.}
2006.04.15 Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma (Hellmuth Hecker) [BPS Wheel No. 273/274] [V06 2005.09.06: Word; BPS]
2006.04.12 Buddhism in Thailand (Kusalasaya) [BPS Wheel No. 085] [V12 2005.08.30: Word; +BPS/RTF]
2006.03.31 Blessed One's City of Dhamma, The [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 130] [V18 2005.09.05: Word]
2006.03.09 Women in Early Buddhist Literature (Horner) [BPS Wheel No. 030] [V16 2005.09.19: RTF]
2006.03.03 Blessings of Pindapata, The (Khantipalo) [BPS Wheel No. 73] [V06 2005.08.16: Word]
2006.02.24 Discourse on the Snake Simile, The (Nyanaponika) [BPS Wheel No. 048] [V02 2005.08.14: Word]
2006.02.09 Positive Response: How to Meet Evil with Good (Acharya Buddharakkhita) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 109] [V11 2005.08.29: Word]
2006.01.18 Bag of Bones: A Miscellany on the Body (Bhikkhu Khantipalo) [BPS Wheel No. 271] [V01 2005.08.06: Word]
2005.12.07 Nothing Higher to Live For (Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 124] [V09 2005.08.01; HTML]
2005.12.07 Buddhism and Death (Walshe) [BPS Wheel No. 261] [V04 2005.07.19; Word]
2005.11.18 Vangisa: An Early Buddhist Poet (Ireland) [BPS Wheel No. 417] [BPS 2005.07.16: Word]
2005.11.04 Buddha's Encounters with Mara, The (Guruge) [BPS Wheel No. 419] [BPS 2005.07.16: Word]
2005.10.18 Detachment & Compassion in Early Buddhism (Harris) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 141] [BPS 2005.07.16; Word]
2005.10.17 Two Dialogues on Dhamma (Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano) [BPS Wheel No. 363] [V05 2005.07.14; Word]
2005.10.10 Young People's Life of the Buddha (Silacara) [Singapore Buddhist Med Centre] [DNET: TXT]
2005.09.30 Radical Therapy: Buddhist Precepts in the Modern World (Lily deSilva) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 123] [V03 2005.07.13; Word]
2005.09.25 Treatise on the Paramis (Dhammapala) [BPS Wheel No. 409] [BPS: Word]
2005.09.03 Self-made Private Prison (Lily deSilva) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 120] [V07 2007.07.07; Word]
2005.08.26: Prisoners of Karma (Karunaratna) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 125] [DNET: TXT]
2005.08.26: Healing of the Bull (Karunaratna) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 140] [Old ATI HTML]
2005.08.13: BPS Newsletter Cover Essays, Nos. 39-47 (Bhikkhu Bodhi) [V06: Word]
2005.08.04: Of Mindsets and Monkeypots (Ontl) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 131] [DNET: TXT]
2005.07.31: Jataka Tales of the Buddha IV (Kawasaki) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 144] [BPS: PDF]
2005.07.31: Jataka Tales of the Buddha V (Kawasaki) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 158] [KVK 2005.07.14; Word]
2005.07.22: Ideal Solitude: An Exposition of the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (Bhikkhu Ñanananda) [BPS Wheel No. 188] [V02]
2005.07.16: Happy Married Life, A (Dhammananda) [Buddhist Missionary Society] [DNET: TXT]
2005.07.16: Guide to Awareness, A (Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara) [Mahamakut] [PDF; originally on ATI in 1997; withdrawn 1999; reinstated 2005]
2005.07.14: Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures (Nyanatiloka) [BPS Wheel No. 394]
2005.07.13: Buddhist Attitude Towards Nature, The (de Silva) [excerpt from Buddhism and the Ecocrisis (Sandell, ed.); BPS Wheel No. 346]
2005.07.10: Our Reactions to Dukkha (Ashby) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 026]
2005.07.08: Buddhist Culture, The Cultured Buddhist (Bogoda) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 139]
2005.07.06: Bhikkhu Tissa Dispels Some Doubts (Leonard Price) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 102] [V04]
2005.07.01: Thoughts on the Dhamma (Mahasi) [BPS Wheel No. 298] [V01]
2005.06.??: Journey into Buddhism (Harris) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 134]
2005.06.??: Nibbana as Living Experience (de Silva) [BPS Wheel No. 407]
2005.06.??: Taste of the Holy Life (Jootla) [BPS Bodhi Leaf No. 133]
2005.05.30: Gifts He Left Behind (Ajaan Dune; Thanissaro, trans.)
2005.05.30: Mudita: The Buddha's Teaching on Unselfish Joy (various) [BPS Wheel No. 170] [V01]