Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

5/1/2019 - 4/30/2023

Funding Totals

$349,971.00 (approved)
$349,944.00 (awarded)

Mapping American Religious Ecologies

FAIN: PW-264050-19

George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)
Lincoln A. Mullen (Project Director: July 2018 to present)
John G. Turner (Co Project Director: May 2019 to present)

Digitization of 1926 United States Census of Religious Bodies schedules, creation of a spatial dataset, selective and crowdsourced transcription, and creation of maps and visualizations using the records.

This project will transform the 1926 U.S. Census of Religious Bodies, which has individual schedules for 232,154 congregations, into a spatial dataset. That collection is the only federal census with extant schedules, but it is unusable by researchers because it is not digitized, searchable, or transcribed. We will digitize the schedules, make those records freely searchable and browsable online, create an Omeka module to transcribe them into a dataset, transcribe a representative selection and open the remainder to crowdsourcing, and create maps and visualizations that contextualize the records. The result will be the single most detailed and comprehensive spatial dataset for American religion, useable by scholars in history and religious studies, by local historians, and by the public.

Media Coverage

RRCHNM to Digitize the 1926 Census of Religious Bodies (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Lincoln Mullen
Publication: RRCHNM News
Date: 5/20/2019
Abstract: Announcement of the start of the project.

Associated Products

American Religious Ecologies (Web Resource)
Title: American Religious Ecologies
Author: RRCHNM
Abstract: The project website.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: URL to the project website.

From Infrastructure to Interpretation in the Digital History of American Religion (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: From Infrastructure to Interpretation in the Digital History of American Religion
Abstract: This talk about the American Religious Ecologies project at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media was prepared for the "Digital History and Hermeneutics" master class at the University of Luxembourg, 24 June 2020.
Author: Lincoln Mullen
Date: 2020-06-23
Location: Virginia
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: YouTube recording of the talk.