The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Transformation and Renewal

January 24, 2022

You have probably noticed some changes on the Archive. It's under construction to provide you with a more reliable, faster service with streamlined access to Steiner's materials. Our goal is to have a site that can scale for increased use as more people seek this information in the coming years.

While we have received many compliments on the changes, we have also received concerns from some of our dedicated readers. We welcome your input and would like to provide you with some context for the modifications.

While the updates may seem to be merely cosmetic, this construction project really goes much deeper. When the Archive was started by Jim Stewart decades ago, the technology available for building websites was in its infancy. Much of this legacy code is still present and some of it is still tied to Jim's personal computers having unintended consequences.

Imagine if you will, a huge ball of twine, hopelessly twisted together. Your job is to recover the 10% of twine that is still usable. Unfortunately, you can't quite tell which 10% that is since it all pretty much looks the same. You must dismantle it bit by bit, inspecting the twine for the pieces that can still be used. Imagine too, that the original roller of the twine ball is still out there, well-meaning, but collecting more twine none the less. His relentless twine-rolling occasionally reveals the afore-mentioned unintended consequences. This is the state of the Archive.

The good news is that only about 20% of the old twine remains. After this is removed, the good parts of the website that were compromised during the process can be restored. Some things have been removed entirely, but if there is something missing you can't live without, speak up and let us know. We will restore it if possible although some things rely on technology that is no longer supported.

The new Steiner Online Library is a small nonprofit run by only two of us — Chris and Karin Wietrzykowski. Chris is handling all technical aspects of the project while Karin manages to operations of the nonprofit, including fundraising, working with volunteers, interacting with website users, creating content for social media, and helping Chris format lectures. This is a massive undertaking, but we are excited and love our work.

This fall we created the new mobile-friendly While we initially planned to leave the Archive as it was, instability problems these last six months have forced us to change our approach. Our current plan is to eventually combine the best of both websites into one. This involves reformatting the books, lectures and articles, performing a major overhaul of the database, and fixing or finding a suitable replacement for our search functionality. This is not a simple task to do while still providing services in the process!

We understand change can be difficult. But only with patience and a willingness to transform can we evolve to a new state that is more suitable for today's Internet. We appreciate your understanding, patience, and support.

We hope you will join us in our excitement as we transform this site to better suit the needs of the Anthroposophical movement for years to come.

— Chris and Karin