Invitation to a Digital Dugnad

Hilde Løvdal Stephens

If you’re like me, money for research is tight and any digitized archival material that is easily accessible online is priceless. So, I invite you to be part of a digital dugnad in an effort to gather a list of online primary sources on American religion.

So what's a dugnad? A Norwegian term, dugnad is something like voluntary, unpaid community work.

But it’s so much more. It’s about connections and about being useful. A dugnad is a collective effort. Any kind of association—churches, sports clubs, scouting groups, and neighborhood organizations—rely on the dugnad to raise money and to keep the day-to-day things up and running.

And then, of course, there’s usually coffee and cake. (Home-made cake, that is. A store-bought cake is, well, frowned upon.)

Sans coffee and cake, let's start the digital dugnad. Let’s dig up our favorite primary sources that can be useful for both research and teaching. Give us your online gems in the comment section.

Michael Altman listed some useful collections here. There's also some useful material in the comments.

Anyway, here's my contribution:
A big cheer for all the hard working archivists out there who have made all this available!


Randall said…
I'd also add Google's excellent archived newspaper search The link is for the way to just search old papers. Some really good ones from the 18th century. Religion sections in many 20th-cen papers and even some denomination-themed titles.

Hathitrust, which is accessible even without a university subscription. I found some great material on there related to some recent research on the Wesleyan Methodists:

The Presbyterian Magazine (1820s) on Google Books

Alexander Campbell's Millennial Harbinger (1840s) on Google Books

The Latter Day Saints and Millennial Star (1840s, 50s, and 1871) on Google Books

Not so closely related, but worth a mention. I just saw that the NAACP's The Crisis is also available in full view on Google Books.
Charles Richter said…
A few more of my favorite archives:

The Christian and Missionary Alliance "Alliance Weekly: --

Digital Mennonite Periodicals (including "Gospel Herald") --

American Jewish Committee --
Randall said…
I had no idea the CMA weekly was online. I see some keyword searches in my future.
Paul Harvey said…
Randall, that might be the geek-iest comment ever left on this blog!

For nineteenth century stuff, the Christian Recorder is digitized and available a number of places.
Randall said…
Yesss! (he says, pumping his fist up and down). Proud to have broken a new nerd record. It's probably these new glasses I've been wearing for my worsening eyes.

I wish there was some master list of all the journals and denominational magazines that are out Google Books in full view.

One other one. This is the Southern Baptist Biblical Recorder out of North Carolina. The good folks at the Southern Bapt Library and Archive told me about it. The run is from 1834 to 1970. That is, stretching from one plaid-pants decade to another.

Joshua Paddison said…
Here are a set of online sources related to religion in the American West I compiled a few years ago; many are not just about the West, actually:

-Joshua Paddison
Charles Richter said…
Here's one more: The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
Josh J. said…
The Glasite Digital Archive has primary sources for this sect (called The Sandemanians outside of Scotland, including in North America).

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