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Monday, 30 June 2014

Deserved recognition for Kevin Knight, founder of New Advent


Kevin Knight founded New Advent nearly 20 years ago, and keeps it going today. The site itself is a one-stop shop (where everything is free) for the Catholic Encyclopaedia, a Greek-English-Latin parallel-column bible, the texts of the Fathers of the Church, and the Summa.

I was in South Thamesmead when the project to transcribe the 1913 Catholic Encyclopaedia was mooted back in 1994. It was one of the earliest examples of crowd-sourcing, using the enthusiasm of volunteers, backed by solid organising ability, to accomplish this seemingly impossible task in what was an amazingly short time for those days. The ability to see the potential of crowd-sourcing, and the importance of making information available free, was at the heart of the success of New Advent, and Kevin Knight deserves the highest acclaim for seeing that so clearly when the internet was still only beginning to become popular.

Kathy Schiffer has interviewed The Man Behind America's Largest Catholic Super-Site with reference to New Advent being ranked number one in the ChurchRelevance list of the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry. Kathy also has a background piece on the interview: My Interview With Kevin Knight, Humble King of the Catholic Blogosphere.

I still regularly use the reference materials on New Advent. The relatively recent addition of the polyglot bible is particularly useful, but like most people, I often look up material in the Catholic Encyclopaedia. However the site has also developed what is probably the best daily RSS feed of stories and I look at that most days through Feedly. It is particularly helpful in that it picks up on articles that are not simply a re-hash of what everyone else is writing about, but provide an original insight or a different angle. There are also one or two wider interest pieces included each day such as one I read earlier: This Brave Man Dives Into The World’s Biggest Waves. What He Captures On Camera Is Spectacular!

Congratulations to Kevin Knight. May God continue to bless us through his solid and persevering labour in the vineyard of the Lord.
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