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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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PW-277494-21Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference ResourcesEmory UniversitySounding Spirit Digital Library: Digitizing Southern Vernacular Sacred Song9/1/2021 - 8/31/2024$346,781.00JesseP.Karlsberg   Emory UniversityAtlantaGA30322-1018USA2021Music History and CriticismHumanities Collections and Reference ResourcesPreservation and Access34678103446870

The digitization of 1,284 books of vernacular sacred music from the U.S. South published between 1850 and 1925.

The Sounding Spirit digital library provides access to 1,284 books of vernacular sacred music from the US South published between 1850 and 1925. This corpus of gospel songbooks, collections of spirituals, shape-note tunebooks, and hymnals offers critical insights into the lived experience of Americans who used these works to navigate a modernizing turn-of-the-twentieth-century musical landscape. Led by a team of humanities scholars and technologists based at Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship, the Sounding Spirit digital library includes six partner archives holding an impressive range of southern sacred song. Digitizing and making accessible works representing the sacred music making of blacks, whites, and Native Americans, and supporting their interpretation via digital collections and descriptive entries, the Sounding Spirit digital library recasts our understanding of American music for a broad public of researchers, teachers, and practitioners of sacred song.