Participation Type

Paper

Presentation #1 Abstract

The libraries at Marshall University have a modest collection of sermons that are in the public domain. Some are individual sermons published in pamphlet form; others are volumes of sermons by a single preacher; and still others are collection of sermons by multiple preachers. By far the largest is that of Melville Homer Cummings (1980-1978), who pastored Methodist churches in West Virginia for over 50 years. It contains some 150 sermons, 100 newspaper columns, 300 hymns, and 150 poems, along with 45 newspaper articles about Cummings and his family. There are also about 300 hymnals that were part of Cummings’ library.

This presentation will focus on efforts to create a digital collection of these materials. I will describe the full extent of the physical collection, display some of the materials that have been placed online thus far, and discuss the issues we have encountered and the lessons we have learned along the way.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Robert Ellison is Assistant Professor of English and director of the Center for Sermon Studies at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. The project he will discuss at this conference is part of Marshall's rapidly-growing program in the digital humanities.

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Digitizing Sermons in the Marshall University Libraries

The libraries at Marshall University have a modest collection of sermons that are in the public domain. Some are individual sermons published in pamphlet form; others are volumes of sermons by a single preacher; and still others are collection of sermons by multiple preachers. By far the largest is that of Melville Homer Cummings (1980-1978), who pastored Methodist churches in West Virginia for over 50 years. It contains some 150 sermons, 100 newspaper columns, 300 hymns, and 150 poems, along with 45 newspaper articles about Cummings and his family. There are also about 300 hymnals that were part of Cummings’ library.

This presentation will focus on efforts to create a digital collection of these materials. I will describe the full extent of the physical collection, display some of the materials that have been placed online thus far, and discuss the issues we have encountered and the lessons we have learned along the way.