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Slavonic Computing Initiative

The Slavonic Computing Initiative (SCI) brings together computer programmers, philologists, musicologists, liturgioligists and other specialists for the purpose of developing fonts and tools for the support of Church Slavonic on the computer. On this website you can:

  1. Read about the correct way to work with Church Slavonic text and music on the computer using Unicode and other latest computing technology standards (click here).
  2. Download and install free, quality Church Slavonic fonts (click here).
  3. Download and install keyobard drivers for typing in Church Slavonic (click here) and other tools for convering files from legacy encoding formats and other technical work (click here).
  4. Ask questions about Church Slavonic, typography, or join the community by subscribing to the SCI-Users mailing list.

What is Unicode and why is it important?

Unicode is a universal computing standard for working with texts in all of the world's writing systems. When you use Unicode, you ...

  • make the text easily available to users around the world on any platform and software environment
  • ensure that your text will also be useable in future implementations
  • allow your text to be indexable by search engines and other systems
  • guarantee compatibility between your project and other projects.

Where do I start?

Most users are probably just looking for some Church Slavonic text (click here to access a full library of modern and historical liturgical texts), a working font (click here to download) and perhaps some keyboard drivers (click here). If you are professional working in font design or publication of Slavonic texts or an academic doing research with Slavonic texts, you probably want to read our Roadmap for Church Slavonic Typography (click here), which is also available in Russian (click here).

What is Church Slavonic?

Wait ... isn't Church Slavonic a dead language? What's the point of a supporting a dead language on the computer? Answer: Church Slavonic (called by various people Old Slavonic, Old Church Slavonic, Church Slavic, etc.) is the historical literary language of the Slavs. Though it is true that today the language is only used as a liturgical language by the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox and Byzantine-Rite Catholic Churches, it has also been used historically to write thousands of literary documents in the Slavic world. The SCI seeks to support all forms of Church Slavonic writing using Unicode and other standards-based solutions, including:

  • The storage and typesetting of modern liturgical texts (Unicode texts available here)
  • The storage and study of historical liturgical texts in Church Slavonic and other Slavic printed books
  • The storage and study of manuscripts written in Cyrillic or Glagolitic, birch bark documents, and other historical documents
  • The storage, publication and study of musical materials in Church Slavonic using both modern and Kievan square or Znamenny neumatic musical notations
Most of the projects in the past have used their own computer solutions that are not standards-based. This makes it impossible to exchange data between the projects and to collaborate in research or publications. SCI seeks to address this problem.

Church Slavonic resources on the web


Who are we?

The Slavonic Computing Initiative (a subset of the Ponomar Project) brings together volunteers who are interested in Church Slavonic and dedicated to the philosophy of free and open source software. The project depends entirely on the work of volunteers like you. We do not earn any money in the form of license fees or grants. The project is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Russian Orthodox Church, or any other ecclesiastic, academic or governmental organization.