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July 8, 1955 - April 27, 2010
John Bruno Hare (JBH or Bruno), the founder and architect of ISTA (Internet Sacred Text Archive) passed away on April 27, 2010 after a four-year battle with Melanoma. JBH’s life mission was to keep the archive free and available worldwide, forever, and ISTA is his legacy. Bruno’s efforts placed this website,, among the top 10,000 read websites in the United States, and among the top 20,000 read websites of the entire Internet. He dedicated ISTA to religious tolerance and scholarship, calling it a “quiet place in cyberspace."

A colleague of JBH’s once remarked, “If the only thing Mr. Hare had ever accomplished was to create he would be deserving of the highest praise and our sincerest gratitude.” Establishing the archive was no small feat. With the help of a small worldwide network of volunteers, over the course of approximately 13 years, Bruno managed to contribute over 2,000 digital editions of Public Domain text to the archive. For each text this typically involved historical and copyright research, acquisition of the text itself, scanning, converting, proofing, formatting, in many cases providing translation and commentary, and uploading to the archive.

Bruno possessed an amazing set of skills and wore many hats, including software engineer, anthropologist, linguist, commentator, businessman, game designer, and even ethnomusicologist/musician. He was highly functional in many languages, Sanskrit among them, and was steeped in many areas of inquiry, including theoretical physics, computer science, music, and religion.

It was JBH’s intention that the Internet Sacred Text Archive would function as a repository of the world’s Public Domain sacred texts, and be a neutral and secure space for free, anonymous, and worldwide access to digital versions of these texts. Efforts of groups such as Project Gutenberg, with their wide- ranging transcription of texts in the humanities, the Open Siddur Project, with their digitization of Jewish texts for spiritual practice, and the Creative Commons, with their legal framework for assuring the freedom of new and old texts, mirror and compliment JBH’s efforts, and JBH supported and invited support of these projects.

Approximately a year prior to his passing JBH established a structure for perpetuating ISTA and keeping it alive and free to the public.  Additionally, ISTA plans to continue to add texts, products, features and services consistent with JBH's directions.  While ISTA is run and maintained in accordance with the structure that JBH chose, its ultimate fate resides in the hands of its readers, who access it daily.  By supporting ISTA itself (or by contributing to the mission of any of the deserving Public Domain projects listed here) you can be part of John Bruno Hare's vision for preserving humanity's Public Domain spiritual works as civilization enters the Digital Age.

How does the Sage seat himself by the sun and moon, and hold the universe in his grasp? He blends everything into one harmonious whole, rejecting the confusion of this and that. Rank and precedence, which the vulgar prize, the Sage stolidly ignores. The revolutions of ten thousand years leave his unity unscathed. The universe itself may pass away, but he will flourish still.

Musings of a Chinese Mystic, by Lionel Giles, [1906], at

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