Documenting the Local Church

The Duke Divinity School Library is leading a statewide effort to gather the publications of churches and other religious bodies in North Carolina through a $30,000 planning grant awarded by the State Library of North Carolina. The Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection, a joint project with the libraries at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University, will include the histories of local religious bodies (individual churches, synagogues, etc.) as well as publications of larger North Carolina denominations or cooperative networks. The libraries plan to provide digital access and tools for searching across these significant works.

According to Andy Keck, associate director of the Divinity School Library and project manager, “Local church histories are often self-published for members of a congregation, yet they are indispensable for describing the development of a community, documenting involvement with other religious institutions and communities, illustrating struggles with broader societal events or issues, and illuminating particular religious disputes.”

Word Cloud showing church-related terms
Photo credit: Andy Keck