|Type of site||Digital library|
|Owner||John Bruno Hare|
|Created by||John Bruno Hare|
|Launched||March 9, 1999|
The Internet Sacred Text Archive (ISTA) is a 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 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.
The website was first opened to the public on March 9, 1999 by the current administrator John Bruno Hare, in Santa Cruz, California, USA. Its texts are organised into 70 different categories, with several new texts being added each month. The maintenance costs for the website — which as of 2006 receives 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.
While the majority of visitors seem to recognise the valuable resource the website provides, the ISTA has still suffered several denial-of-service attacks since its inception. The first major attack on the website came on March 13, 2002 and lasted for 10 days. After the website's administrator successfully traced the attack to a university in Berlin, and had the user responsible barred from using the computers there, the administrator received an email from the attacker himself. An excerpt from which may aid in understanding his and others motivations for attacking the website: "I surely can not agree with to mix up all the pagan cults, idols, witchcrafts (6. & 7. book of 'Moses'), esoteric, ocullt [sic], theosophic and even satanic views and the God that created heaven and earth that hates these former things with one another without distinction."