This past weekend I was at Kent State University attending their Conference on Information and Religion. Two faculty members at their library school are former ministers. Several years ago the then-director said to them, “How many library schools have two professors who used to be ministers? You should do something with this.” So they founded the Center for the Study of Information and Religion.
I was there presenting a poster and was so nervous at first… “My poster looks so hokey next to the others.” “Did I come to the right conclusions in my research?” “Oh my goodness, what am I even doing here!” Fortunately I was able to regain objectivity and after a while I was more relaxed.
Overall I enjoyed the conference very much. One presenter talked about appraising records for a religious archives. She had recently helped her synagogue start their own archives and talked about the differences between secular and religious archives – on one level, records are records, but on another level, you are trying to document the intangible. Religious records contain evidential value but also symbolic value that demonstrates belief.
Another presenter talked about Hymnary.org, a non-subscription hymn database. I was impressed, not just as a church musician, but also having studied taxonomies and faceted searching. Hymnary presents many facets by which to search, including the incipit of a melody. You type in the notes or solfège. Isn’t that neat?