Hymnary.org Receives Prestigious NEH Grant

Hymnary.org recently received a $266,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities* (NEH) to expand and improve its online database of hymn texts and tunes. The grant money will be used to incorporate the Dictionary of North American Hymnology, a comprehensive index of hymnals.

Currently, Hymnary.org houses more than one million hymns (hymn instances) and provides basic information for each hymn such as title, author, and date published. With the NEH grant, around 2,000 hymnals will be scanned from the Louis F. Benson collection at the Princeton Theological Seminary, giving users access to page images as in addition to the first lines and authors of hymns in each hymnal. There will be other improvements to the data as well.

Harry Plantinga, Director of Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL), submitted the proposal entitled "A Comprehensive Index of North American Hymnals." He reports that the two-year project will bring together an array of collaborators, including co-investigator John Witvliet of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) and the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) library, which has one of the best collections of hymnals and hymnology books in the country.

The NEH advisory board:

  • Bill Clemmons, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • David Music, Baylor University
  • Bert Polman, Calvin College
  • Paul Powell, formerly of Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Tina Schneider, The Ohio State University at Lima
  • Mary Louise Van Dyke, Oberlin College
  • Donald Vorp, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Paul Westermeyer, Luther Seminary

The project has been given the "We the People" designation from NEH which is awarded for projects that encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. More information is available from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

*Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.