If you are interested in scholarly projects that influenced Digitizing Rochester’s Religions, or if you want to view other projects that use digital methods to study religious history, then we recommend exploring these websites.
Columbia University’s Sacred Gotham project, directed by Dr. Courtney Bender, was Dr. Guillory’s inspiration for an interactive website studying urban religion.
Monroe Community College professor David H. Day launched a project in 2003 to send students into the Rochester community to profile religious sites. Students took photographs, collected metadata, and wrote short articles about each site. The web project showcasing their work was entitled Encountering Old Faiths in New Places: Mapping Religious Diversity in the Rochester, New York Area. Dr. Day’s project, also known as the Rochester Pluralism Project, was affiliated with Harvard University’s Pluralism Project. The original site is no longer active, but most of the material has been preserved in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Sekuru’s Stories, led by Dr. Jennifer Kyker (Eastman School of Music), documents the life and work of acclaimed Zimbabwean mbira musician Sekuru Tute Chigamba. The design and digital archive of Sekuru’s Stories influenced the design of the DRR website.
SUNY Brockport held a series of National Endowment for the Humanities symposia in 2017 that covered Rochester’s history of reform movements. A website called The Rochester Reform Trail: Women’s Rights, Religion, and Abolition on the Genesee River and the Erie Canal is the repository for the presentations.
Mordecai Marches to Manchuria: RIT professor Stephen Jacobs, who teaches video game design and computer science, made this project about his ancestor, a Russian Jewish soldier named Mordecai, who traveled through Eurasia with the Russian army. Mordecai kept a detailed diary, with a list of places he visited. Jacobs built a website with a new translation of Mordecai’s diary, synced with a Timemapper timeline and an interactive map of the places Mordecai visited.
In geveb, a Journal of Yiddish Studies provides new translations and analyses of Yiddish literature. The website has beautiful design and formatting, and shows how to encode primary sources into a webpage.
Mapping Jewish Los Angeles (directors: Dr. Todd Pressner, Dr. Caroline Luce, Dr. Karen Wilson, and David Wu, at UCLA) and Mapping Jewish San Francisco (directors: Dr. Aaron Hahn Tapper and Dr. Oren Kroll-Zeldin, at University of San Francisco) feature digital essays, maps, and galleries of primary sources about Jewish communities in California. These projects blur the divisions between archive, publication, and virtual museum.
The Ghetto of Venice: The Future of Memory in the Digital Age (directors: Dr. Sara Airoldi, Dr. Murray Baumgarten, Dr. Chiara Camarda, Dr. Avigail Oren, Dr. Amanda Sharick, Dr. Erica Smeltzer, and Dr. Katharine G. Trostel) began as a digital study of the Jewish ghetto in Venice. It has since expanded to study Jewish neighborhoods worldwide. The “Rust Belt Ghettos” exhibit looks at changing demographics in Midwestern Jewish neighborhoods using Story Maps and Social Explorer, the latter of which turns census data into chloropleth maps. These maps show how, block by block, Jewish American and African American populations changed over time.
Arch City Religion and Lived Religion in the Digital Age are initiatives based at Saint Louis University. Dr. Rachel McBride Lindsey and Dr. Pauline Lee supervise the LRDA project. Like DRR, the Arch City website features essays about neighborhoods and religious sites, but it also has material on religious persons of note and rituals in St. Louis.
Boston’s Hidden Sacred Spaces, led by Dr. Wendy Cadge (Brandeis University), Dr. Alice Friedman (Wellesley College), and Randall Armor, seeks to map and document chapels, prayer rooms, and other religious spaces within nominally secular buildings in Boston. The project is being expanded in Dr. Cadge’s NEH-funded initiative “Mapping Religious Transformation in Boston’s Hidden Sacred Spaces.”
Mapping Yiddish New York, led by Dr. Agnieszka Legutko of Columbia University, documents the Yiddish-speaking Jewish culture and built environment of New York City. It features text in both English and Yiddish.
The American Religious Sounds Project, led by Dr. Amy DeRogatis (Michigan State University) and Dr. Isaac Weiner (Ohio State University), combines the study of place with the study of sound, to capture the sensory experience of attending religious services. The project’s website features a number of classroom assignments to help students engage creatively with religious audio recordings.