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Products for grant PW-264219-19

PW-264219-19
Sounding Spirit Digital Library: Sacred Music from the Southern Diaspora, 1850-1925
Jesse Karlsberg, Emory University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=PW-264219-19

Optical Character Recognition in Sounding Spirit (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Optical Character Recognition in Sounding Spirit
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Abstract: Sounding Spirit is conducting optical character recognition (OCR) of printed music books included in its pilot digital library. The digital library utilizes the Readux platform, which draws on textual and positional information in OCR to transparently overlay text on digitized images. Sounding Spirit's corpus presents challenges for conducting OCR including the juxtaposition of text and music, and complex layouts impacting line segmentation and reading order. Additional challenges include accommodating varied approaches to representing OCR in the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) manifests that Readux employs. This presentation provides overviews of Sounding Spirit and Readux, describes the results of a study of six major OCR engines, and details recommendations for OCR research drawing on our experience.
Date: 01/29/2020
Conference Name: Mellon Workshop on OCR and Digital Text Production

Building Bridges, Sounding Spirits: Digitizing American Music (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Building Bridges, Sounding Spirits: Digitizing American Music
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Author: Meredith Doster
Author: Gregory N. Reish
Author: James Revell Carr
Abstract: This moderated panel discussion shares perspectives on inter-institutional digital collection building in American music. Using the Sounding Spirit Digital Library, an open access portal featuring sacred American songbooks published between 1850 and 1925 as case study, panelists will describe the impact of this collaborative planning and production process. Specifically, panelists will address 1.) why this collection of texts matters to the study of American music, 2.) the value of disseminating dispersed collections through a single point of access, and 3.) the significance of digitization and access options for stewards and scholars of American music. Drawing on a white paper authored for a 2019–20 NEH planning grant, our discussion about Sounding Spirit will describe the digital library’s technological and musicological interventions. The collection features texts associated with spirituals, gospel, and hymn singing that document cultural exchanges across race, class, gender, and geographical boundaries. Our panel discussion will explore the processes through which inter-institutional partners formulated the collection’s scope and digitization workflow. Panelists represent the project’s advisors, editorial staff, and archival partners; four leading collections of southern sacred music: Emory University’s Pitts Theology Library, the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music at the University of Kentucky, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Panelists will share insights gleaned about public and scholarly engagement with American music collections, proposing this project’s approach as a model for other collaborations that can enhance teaching and research with previously inaccessible American music collections through digital library curation.
Date: 07/18/2020
Primary URL: https://www.american-music.org/general/custom.asp?page=SAM2020VirtualConference
Primary URL Description: Conference website
Conference Name: Society for American Music

Sounding Spirit Digital Library (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Sounding Spirit Digital Library
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Author: Meredith Doster
Author: Erin Fulton
Author: Sara Palmer
Author: Rachel Erin Stuart
Author: Jay Varner
Abstract: This Sounding Spirit pilot digital library features songbooks and hymnals published across the southern United States from 1850 to 1925. Spanning holdings from four partner archives, the digital library’s twenty-two books include words-only hymnals, gospel songbooks, spiritual collections, and shape-note tunebooks, demonstrating the wide variety of form, content, and presentation in southern vernacular sacred songbooks. These songbooks employ competing notation systems and vary in musical style from dispersed harmony fuging tunes and plain tunes of the shape-note repertoire, to antiphonal gospel, to classically inspired arrangements of African American spirituals, to words-only hymns in Muskokee sung in unison, to tunes in oral tradition shared among southern black and white congregations. Organized into collections that highlight texts’ associated places, populations, genres, and denominational affiliations, the digital library allows for rich engagement with songbooks and hymnals seminal in their respective eras, but historically underrepresented in both archival holdings and scholarship. These works and collections illustrate the primacy of songbooks to the dynamic encounters among white, black, and native communities navigating modernizing forces across the US South and beyond. In selecting volumes for the pilot site, Sounding Spirit’s music bibliographer Erin Fulton, project director, Jesse P. Karlsberg, and project manager, Meredith Doster, collaborated with content consultants at each partner archive to balance the diversity of this 22-volume corpus with each collection’s strengths. Additional criteria guiding the selection included contemporaneous significance, influence, rarity, and existence of digitized copies or available facsimiles.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://library.soundingspirit.org/
Primary URL Description: Sounding Spirit Digital Library
Access Model: open access

Checklist of Southern Sacred Music Imprints, 1850–1925 (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Checklist of Southern Sacred Music Imprints, 1850–1925
Author: Erin Fulton
Author: Jesse P. Karlsberg
Abstract: This dataset is a checklist of sacred vernacular songbooks from the southern United States and its diasporas published between 1850 and 1925. The checklist features works primarily housed at the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University, the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music at the University of Kentucky, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives and Special Collections, and the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University. The checklist assembles basic bibliographic data otherwise dispersed across the catalogs of numerous repositories. The dataset also includes data points that standard catalog records do not encompass. For instance, whenever discernable, information about denominational orientation, known distributors, and notation style is clearly indicated.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://doi.org/10.15139/S3/VQT4D5
Primary URL Description: Checklist of Southern Sacred Music Imprints, 1850–1925
Access Model: open access


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