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The Internet Sacred Text Archive (ISTA) is a Santa Cruz, California based website dedicated to the preservation of electronic public domain texts, specifically those with significant cultural value. Works which fall into this category range from religious texts such as the Bible, the Qur'an, the Avestas, the I Ching, or the Vedas, to the classical literature of Virgil, Plato, or Sophocles, and on to the more contemporary works of Shakespeare, or the Brothers Grimm.

Internet Sacred Text Archive
Internet Sacred Text Archive logo.jpg
Type of site
Digital library
OwnerJohn Bruno Hare
Created byJohn Bruno Hare
Alexa rank23,153 (Global ranking, July 2012)[1]
LaunchedMarch 9, 1999

In addition, ISTA compiles texts of Native American religion, mythology and folklore, and lists historical texts and ethnographic accounts by culture group.[2] These texts were written from oral tradition by respected "ethnographers who were known for their careful and respectful approach to the people they studied."[3]



The website was first opened to the public on March 9, 1999 by John Bruno Hare (July 8, 1955 – April 27, 2010), in Santa Cruz, California, USA.[4] Hare started building the website from his home in the late 1990s, as "an intellectual challenge". At the time, he was working as a software engineer with a dot-com company, and started by scanning over 1,000 public domain books on religion, folklore and mythology [5] Its texts are organized into 77 different categories, with several new texts being added each month.[6] The maintenance costs for the website—which as of 2006 received anywhere from five hundred thousand to two million visits a day—are funded by sales of the website on DVD or CD-ROM and other monetary donations.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ sacred-texts
  2. ^ "Guide to Research in Native American Religions". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  3. ^ Hare, John. "Native American Religions". ISTA. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b Hare, John. "About Sacred-Texts". Retrieved 2006-11-07.
  5. ^ "Sacred Pages". The New York Times. November 25, 2004.
  6. ^ Hare, John. "What's New?". Retrieved 2010-04-04.

External linksEdit