Duke Divinity School, Duke Chapel, and Duke University Libraries have announced that the first stage of an initiative to digitize Duke Chapel sermons is complete with the release of more than 2,500 sermons online.
The Duke University Chapel Recordings Digital Collection website collects audio and video recordings as well as manuscript sermons produced at the chapel between 1946 and 2002. Drawn from a collection held in the Duke University Archives, the sermons were selected by Divinity School and Duke Chapel staff for their historic significance. Many recordings include full worship services, including choir and organ music.
Lilly Endowment Inc. provided funds to digitize the materials, and the project is a collaboration between the Divinity School, Duke Chapel, Duke University Archives, and the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections Program.
“This will be an invaluable resource for preachers and scholars,” said Charles Campbell, professor of homiletics at the Divinity School. “It is certainly one of the most important collections of sermons available online today. We are grateful for the amazing work done by our colleagues in the University Libraries,” he said.
Over the next two years, Divinity School students and graduates will add metadata to the sermons so that they will be searchable in a variety of ways (such as by biblical text, liturgical occasion, theological themes, and social issues). In addition, students will edit transcriptions of the audio and video recordings to be made available on the website.
The project is part of the Divinity School’s Duke Preaching Initiative, which is designed to enhance homiletical education and pedagogy. The initiative is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and is part of its Initiative to Strengthen the Quality of Preaching.