This reference publication includes sources of bibles and sacred texts of various religions in a variety of languages and versions.
This publication is separated into two parts: Part 1 lists other sources of religious materials in special formats. Please contact the organizations directly to obtain full information. Part 2 presents braille and talking books available through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress. This free service is available through a network of cooperating libraries to residents of the United States, or American citizens living abroad, who have a visual impairment or physical or print disability that prevents them from reading regular print or using printed materials. For more information about NLS, call 888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323). For more NLS services and resources, including the catalog, visit the main NLS site at www.loc.gov/nls.
- Part 1: Sources of Special Format Materials—Electronic, Audiovisual, and Multimedia
- Part 2: Materials in the NLS Collection
- Religious Writings in International Languages
Part 1: Sources of Special Format Materials—Electronic, Audiovisual, and Multimedia
The following organizations offer scriptural material in accessible formats.
Bibles for the Blind and Visually Handicapped International
Offers the King James Version in braille and as a downloadable braille file in English, Russian, and Spanish. Free to individuals with visual impairment.
A lending library of audio and braille material relating to Christian interests.
Braille Bibles International
877-822-4253 toll-free fax
Offers the Bible in audio, braille, and large-print formats. Audio bibles are available via a hand-held device or NLS-compatible cartridge. Audio bibles include English Standard, King James, New King James, New American Standard, New International Version, and New Living Translation. Spanish-language audio versions are also available. The King James and the New King James versions are available in braille and large print. Large-print volumes are available in either 18- or 24-point type. All items are free, with a donation requested.
Braille Circulating Library
Lends religious materials including bible studies and commentaries, devotional reading, prophecy, and sermons. Offers the Daily Bread, a daily devotional on audiocassette and in large print.
Christian Record Services, Inc.
Offers the Bible in multiple formats including braille and NLS digital cartridge. Bible study guides and other devotional material are available in braille and large print.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
www.churchofjesuschrist.org/life/disability/accessible-formats External (download)
From their Accessible Materials web page, users are able to find the Book of Mormon, the Old and New Testaments, and other scriptures in accessible formats including DAISY, MP3, large print, and web-braille. In addition, the church offers its periodicals in accessible formats from the website. Printed braille materials are available from the LDS Store website.
The retail outlet for The United Methodist Publishing House. Sells the United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing Pew Edition in braille.
Faith Comes by Hearing (formerly Hosanna)
Offers audio recordings of the Bible in 1,118 languages for free download. They also sell audio recordings of the Bible in MP3 format, compact disc (English only), and portable “Bible sticks” (English only). Users can download their app and follow the text as the audio is read to them. They also offer a solar powered portable device containing an audio version of the New Testament. Users can also access religious podcasts and an online Bible radio station that continuously reads the scriptures. Resources for children are also available from their website.
Makes available religious material from the Episcopal Church. Sells a 10-volume set of the Book of Common Prayer in braille.
The Braille Superstore
800-985-1231 toll-free fax
A Canadan organization selling Protestant and Catholic bibles in braille and audio. Also available are braille versions of children’s bibles and biblical stories.
Gospel Light Foundation for the Blind
Lends Christian material, including conferences and sermons in audio (NLS-compatible digital cartridge available). Also provides The Shining Light, a quarterly publication, in braille, audio, large print, and digital text. Offers Bible correspondence classes in audio, braille, and large print to individuals with visual impairment.
Harvard Ranch Publishing
Offers Favorite Hymns, Verses from the Bible, and A Walk in the Garden (inspirational words) in large print.
Makes the New World Translation of the Bible available in electronic and hard-copy braille. The Bible is available in English, Spanish, and Italian.
Lutheran Braille Evangelism Association (LBEA)
Produces and sells the Bible Courier (designed for individuals with visual impairment), an electronic pocket Bible with fourteen versions, including King James with Apocrypha, New American Standard with Apocrypha, and New Jerusalem with Apocrypha. They also make available the RSV Bible on digital talking book cartridge.
Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc.
Offers the English Standard Version in braille in multiple languages including Spanish. Users can download braille files of Lutheran church publications. They also offer the Bible in large print (18-point) in English (26 volumes), or Spanish (37 volumes). They do not offer a single-volume large-print edition of the Bible.
Provides bibles on a hand-held, solar-powered, MP3 player. Through partnerships with groups of international ministries, MegaVoice offers the Bible in over six thousand languages and dialects of various scripture. They have the full Bible in eighteen different languages and all major English translations of the Bible.
Olive Tree Bible Software, Inc.
Offers more than 1,500 mobile resources including commentaries, dictionaries, devotionals, ebooks, Strong’s numbers, and more than one hundred Bible translations. The Bible is offered in various languages, including German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and many others. Original Hebrew and Greek texts are also available.
Special Touch Ministry, Inc.
Reproduces their Alive in 5 booklet in braille and large print and their New Believers Handbook in digital talking book format. Also provides automated telephonic scripture readings. Reproduces their Radiant Life curriculum in talking book format (requires an NLS Digital Talking Book Player).
Talking Bibles International
Distributes a handled, solar powered, device with the Old and New Testaments preloaded. Over 2000 languages are available.
Xavier Society for the Blind
Provides free Roman Catholic religious and inspirational materials in audio and braille to individuals with visual impairment. Their collection includes the New American Bible in multiple accessible formats including CD, large print, press braille, and downloadable BRF files.
Islam by Touch
Distributes free copies of the braille Qur'an English Translation Saheeh. Offers the Islam by Touch App: the first Islamic library platform that is fully compatible with the iPhone Voice Over. The Islam By Touch App offers ebooks about Islam including the English translation of the Quran.
Offers free braille Qur’ans to people who are blind.
Enlightenment for the Blind, Inc.
Publishes Living with Moshiach, a weekly digest on the Torah, and other publications on Lubavitch philosophy. Available in large print, braille and audio online. Free to individuals with visual impairment.
Lends liturgical and lifecycle materials, including the Five Books of Moses, The Prophets, The Writings, a variety of Haggadot, a selection of daily and Sabbath prayer books, and Jewish educational materials in audio, braille, and large print. Included titles are in English, Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish. They also make available a number of magazines of Jewish interest available in accessible formats. Electronic braille files are also available in Hebrew and English.
Jewish Heritage for the Blind
Offers publications in Hebrew, English, and Spanish on Jewish laws, customs, and holidays. Books are available for children and adults in braille or large print. Free to individuals with visual impairment.
Through an arrangement with US publishers, Bookshare converts textual material into synthetic speech. They make their books free to all US students with qualifying disabilities. For non-students, there is a $50 annual fee. Books are in DAISY format with text content and in contracted braille. Offers a large selection of religious texts in English and other languages.
Lends recorded textbooks and other educational materials to people who cannot read regular print because of visual impairment or physical disabilities. Offers a number of religious texts as part of its large lending library of textbooks and technical material on audio. Requires a registration fee and an annual membership fee.
LibriVox uses volunteers to record printed material that is in the public domain so it can be downloaded through their website or app. Their collection consists of multiple recordings of religious materials from various faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism. Bible translations include: the American Standard Version, Darby, English Revised Version, Ferrar Fenton, King James, Twentieth Century New Testament, World English, Weymouth, and Young Literal. Languages include English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Part 2: Materials in the NLS Collection
This section lists braille and talking books available through NLS and its network of cooperating libraries. Acronyms preceding a book number indicate its format.
Key to NLS Acronyms
BR/BRA—Braille, contracted unless otherwise noted
DB—Digital talking book
DBF—International-language digital talking book
Digital talking books provided by NLS require a special playback machine. Some books may be available for download through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service and the BARD Mobile app for smartphones and tablets.
Scriptures, Other Sacred Writings, and Commentaries in English
Buck, Christopher. Bahá'í Faith the Basics. DB103958.
The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha. Burtt, E.A., ed. BR07899/DB58027.
Dhammapada: sayings of Buddha: translated from the original Pali by Thomas Cleary. DB44491
The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui Neng. Translated by A.F. Price and Wong Mou-lam. BR13285.
Teachings of the compassionate Buddha. Introduction and notes by E.A. Burtt. DB 58027
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo by Guru Rinpoche, according to Karma Lingpa. Karma-gliçn-pa. Translated with commentary by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa. DB16666.
The Apocrypha: An American Translation. Goodspeed, Edgar J. DB12511.
King James Version
The Bible: Authorized King James Version, Edited by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett. BR14828.
The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments. Narrated by Alexander Scourby. DB68777.
The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testament. Narrated by Bob Askey and Edd Perkins. DB21550.
The Holy Bible with the Apocrypha. BR14943.
The Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Alexander Jones. DB57847.
The New American Bible. DB10982.
The Bhagavad-Gita. Translated by Juan Mascaró. BR15909/DB16482.
The Essential Koran: The Heart of Islam; an Introductory Selection of Readings. Translated by Thomas Cleary. DB55316.
The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation, and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. BR04007.
The Holy Quran. Translated by Abdullah Yousuf Ali. BRA17310.
The Koran. Translated by N.J. Dawood. DB07789.
The Five Books of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Translated with introductions, commentary, and notes by Everett Fox. BR10508/DB42213.
Talmud la-kol: The Essential Talmud. Steinsaltz, Adin, ed. Translated from Hebrew by Chaya Galai. BR17167/DB64273.
Religious Writings in International Languages
al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah. (The Prophet’s Biography). Hisham, Ibn. DBF00312.
Qur’an Karim. DBF01037.
Qurā̓n Majīd (The Koran). BRF00002.
Das Evangelium des Johannes (The Gospel of John). BRF01601.
Assorted New Testament Books in Hebrew. BRF01530–01537.
Svāmī Vivekānanda. Biography of Swami Vivekananda. Vidyalankar, Satyakam. BRF01512.
Shrīdurgā Sapt a Śatī. BRF01474.
Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV. En Mis Propias Palabras: Introducción a Mis Enseñanzas y Filosofia (In My Own Words: An Introduction to My Teachings and Philosophy). Edited by Rajiv Mehrotra. DB68970.
Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica: Con Modificaciones Basadas en la Editio Typica (The Catechism of the Catholic Church). DB50995.
Sagrada Biblia (The Holy Bible). Translated by E.N. Fuster and A. Colunga. DB68999.
Traducción del Nuevo Mundo de las Escrituras Griegas Cristianas (The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures). BRF01914.
Bhagavad Gita: el Canto del Señor. DB80990.
Mahoma (Muhammad). Albaladejo Vivero, Manuel. DB62997.
Mahoma, Su Vida, Su Fe (Muhammad, His Life, His Faith). Andr, Tor. BRF00961.