Building the Plane as We’re Landing It the final migration of the American Religious Sounds Project

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Kate Topham


What does American religion sound like? For eight years, the American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP) was animated by this question. The archive includes hundreds of recordings made across the United States, representing dozens of religious denominations, collected across the span of eight years.  This paper reports on the journey the ARSP has taken from metadata in Microsoft Word through its final migration to the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University. I reflect on the shifting standards, missing metadata, complex data models, and thoughtful curation this project required throughout its lifecycle.

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Perspectives & Practices