Summer Reading No. 4: Spencer Roberts

In keeping with his expertise, Pitts Theology Library’s Head of Digital Initiatives, Dr. Spencer Roberts, highlights the variety and depth of active digital projects focused on religion and theology that may be useful in teaching and/or research for the Candler community. Like most disciplines, religion and theological studies have been experimenting with digital scholarship for many years. Indeed, one of the earliest examples of computation in a humanities research project was led by Father Roberto Busa, S.J., who built a machine-generated Thomas Aquinas concordance that used punch-card technology.

The 15 items listed below are just a small sample of the kinds of topics, approaches, technologies, and participants involved in today’s digital scholarship in religion and theology.



America’s Public Bible

  • uncovers the presence of biblical quotations in the nearly 11 million newspaper pages in the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America collection


American Religious Sounds Project

  • offers resources for studying and interpreting the diversity of American religious life by attending to its varied sonic cultures


American Religious Ecologies

  • creating new datasets from historical sources and new ways of visualizing them so that we can better understand the history of American religion


Burns Antiphoner

  • The Burns Antiphoner is an interactive and open access resource with a dynamic presentation layer through which content (metadata, music notation, textual incipits) and multimedia based on the encoded inventory and data from a 14th-century Franciscan antiphoner can be queried and viewed


Collecting These Times: American Jewish Experiences of the Pandemic

  • connects American Jews to Jewish institutions and other collecting projects which can gather and preserve their experiences of the pandemic


Jesuit Online Bibliography

  • a free, collaborative, multilingual, and fully searchable database of bibliographic records for scholarship in Jesuit Studies produced in the 21st century


Lived Religion in the Digital Age

  • Seeking to better understand the sights, sounds, tastes, rituals, beliefs, and overall experiences of religion in the everyday lives of practitioners


Morales Mass Book

  • a companion to digitized images of the choirbook, the accompanying pages offer students and specialists alike an introduction to this extraordinary collection of sacred Renaissance polyphony


Pandemic Religion: A Digital Archive

  • collects and preserves experiences and responses from individuals and religious communities during the COVID-19 pandemic



Gathering Places: Religion & Community in Milwaukee

  • a living archive of Milwaukee’s places of worship; an ongoing project that seeks to document the diversity of the city’s religious landscape


Historic Rural Churches of Georgia

  • a project with the goal to document these treasures in the style of “reverential documentation”


Living Religion Collaborative – Encounter: Mapping Religion

  • to map local religious and spiritual spaces, practices, and communities in the Silicon Valley and beyond


Missionary Linguistics in colonial Africa

  • a variety of linguistic analyses of languages of continental Africa and Madagascar, compiled by French Catholic missionaries between the late 19th and early 20th centuries


Partners for Sacred Places

  • nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to sound stewardship and active community use of older sacred places across America


Virtual St. Paul’s Cathedral Project

  • experience worship and preaching at St Paul’s Cathedral as events that unfold over time and on particular occasions in London in the early seventeenth century


Take a week to explore Spencer’s many suggestions, and tune in on June 6th for next week’s recommendations!