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Participant name: John Wall
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North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC 27695-7003)
John N. Wall (Project Director: February 2015 to present)
David Brian Hill (Co Project Director: July 2015 to present)
Yun Jing (Co Project Director: July 2015 to present)
Acoustic Modeling in Historical Research

Further work on a three-dimensional, immersive model of the visual and aural environment of St. Paul's Cathedral and Churchyard as they stood in London during the early 17th century. The project would also further develop and publicly release open-source software for the modeling and representation of sound in historic spaces.

Our objective is to develop an open-source software package for use in modeling the acoustic properties of historic spaces. This software will be based on the currently available open-source program i-Simpa (, which utilizes ray-tracing for acoustic propagation modeling. We will add capabilities for auralization and play-back which are essential for us to understand how sound behaves in virtual models of historic spaces. When used in conjunction with recordings of sound made under anechoic conditions, we will be able to experience recreated performances of historic events as they unfold, in real time, in highly accurate virtual models of the spaces in which they originally happened.

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

Project fields:
Ancient Literature

Digital Humanities Implementation Grants

Digital Humanities

$324,135 (approved)
$324,135 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2021


North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC 27695-7003)
John N. Wall (Project Director: October 2010 to August 2013)
New Methods of Documenting the Past: Recreating Public Preaching at Paul's Cross, London, in the Post-Reformation Period

Research to study acoustics for sermons at St. Paul's Cross using advanced modeling and acoustic algorithms.

My goal is to develop a virtual research environment for study of the performance of sermons at Paul's Cross in the churchyard of St. Paul's Cathedral, England's most important public pulpit in the early modern period, where official religious policies were defended and religious controversies of the Reformation were debated. This innovative use of digital technology will be highly multidisciplinary, combining software for architectural modeling and acoustic simulation with historic visual and textual records as well as recent archaeological evidence. We will be able to hear recordings of Paul's Cross sermons performed in its original pronunciation from various locations within the historic space and in the context of a background of extraneous noises and the hubbub of human activity, recreating the challenges both preachers and worshippers confronted in such large public gatherings.

[White paper][Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

Project fields:
British Literature

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Digital Humanities

$50,000 (approved)
$49,998 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 11/30/2012