Southern and Western American Sacred Music and Influential Sources, 1700-1870 (SWASMIS), is a new open access research database which chronicles the history and dissemination of sacred music from Europe and the American Eastern Seaboard to the interior of the country over a 170-year time period. It catalogs every known southern and western sacred music composition from both manuscript and print sources, as well as significant material influencing the composers of those works. In addition to English-language tunebooks, the database documents materials in a variety of Old and New World languages, including German, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Latin, Hebrew, Cherokee, Choctaw, Dakota, Hawaiian, Lenape, and Seneca, as well as incorporating materials from numerous different denominational backgrounds, from Catholic, Jewish, Moravian, Episcopalian, and Lutheran works to Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Universalists, and Mennonites. When complete, SWASMIS will allow users to search this data in multiple different ways, including by composer, printer, song or tunebook title, language, region, lyrics, and numerous specific musical features of works such as key, repetition of melodic material, and other structural features. We are currently curating the data and preparing a permanent online setting to make the database accessible to the public.
Project Collaborators: Nikos Pappas (Music), Jason Battles (formerly Library Technology Planning and Policy), Franky Abbott (formerly ADHC), Kim Smalley (Web Services), Bill Friedman (formerly Web Services), Muzel Chen (ADHC) and Emma Annette Wilson (ADHC)