Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School has completed a multi-year project intended to provide broader and more reliable access to the hymnody of early Methodism.

Charles Wesley
Charles Wesley

The project involved preparing accurate transcriptions (with essential annotations) of all of the verse by Charles Wesley (1707-1788) that is known to survive (whether in manuscripts or published volumes) and well as all collections of hymns prepared and published by John Wesley (1703-1791). Charles and John Wesley were English clerics and founders of Methodism.

Aileen Maddox, editorial assistant to the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition, carried primary responsibility for this project. Professor Randy Maddox, her husband, served as a consultant with expertise in Wesley studies. Said Professor Maddox, “This project is a major expansion and more reliable presentation of this material than any done previously. Altogether it presents over 15,000 pages of original material, and another 7,000 pages with modernized spelling and punctuation. Much of this material was previously available only to those with access to research libraries or archive collections.”

The transcriptions produced by this project are available for free online at The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition, along with guidelines on how to cite the material. Researchers who may have downloaded copies of the material by Charles Wesley previously will find updated zip folders that include corrections and additional annotations that have been added as the project developed. In addition, an updated first-line index for the full project is available in the “Research Resources” page of the website.