Grand Rapids, Mich. (April 22, 2013)—Scholars and students have a new research center devoted to developing digital tools, resources, and scholarship focused on the religious reformations of the early modern era, particularly arising out of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research of Calvin Theological Seminary is a natural fit for the seminary community, seminary president Julius Medenblik said. “We’re pleased to see the ongoing efforts of faculty, students, and alumni of the seminary develop into a formal home for projects with exciting possibilities for coming to a better understanding the multi-faceted legacy of the Reformation,” he said.
The institute is conceived as a forum to promote research into the Reformation and post-Reformation periods, covering the 16th to the 18th centuries, through the use of digital tools, skills, and resources. The Junius Institute will house the Post-Reformation Digital Library (PRDL), an electronic database covering thousands of authors and primary source documents on the development of theology and philosophy in these centuries. With the click of a few buttons, researchers can now download digital files with source material from hundreds of years ago. Before recent large-scale digitization efforts, like those undertaken by Google and many European libraries, access to these kinds of sources had been difficult, costly, or even impossible. In some cases sources were simply lost or unknown.