About: Exploring the Site

Exploring This Site

The ARSP website consists of two main sections:

  1. Explore: A set of database-driven visualization and filtering tools that invite you to explore the ARSP audio archive and listen to selected clips.
  2. Gallery: A digital gallery, presenting curated multimedia exhibits on selected themes, sounds, and communities.

There are many ways to engage with these materials, and we invite you to explore the site in whatever ways make most sense for you. To help orient you, a brief description of each section with suggestions for use is provided below.

Explore: Archive and Visualization Tools

The ARSP online archive includes hundreds of short audio clips, excerpted from longer audio field recordings. You can filter through and listen to these clips using any of our three database driven visualization tools:

  •  The “Archive” page lists all of the available audio recordings. Click the headphones on the left to listen to the recording or click on the title to read more.
  •  The "Connections" page reveals relationships among audio clips by grouping them in networks defined by filter categories.
  •  The "Map" page plots audio clips according to the geographic locations where original recordings were produced.

Once you enter the “Explore” section of the website, you can navigate among these three tools using the tabs at the top of each page. Our easy to use toolbar allows you to filter through the recordings according to a range of criteria, such as religious tradition, type of space, or time of day.

On each page, you can listen directly to a selected clip or navigate to a “details” page with more information.

We encourage you to spend time experimenting with the filter tools, generating different searches and visualizations, and listening to selected audio clips. What insights does each offer into how we might think about the diversity of American religions? How do the different filter categories and visualization tools encourage you to think about the relationships among audio recordings? How might arriving at the same clip through different searches inform or change the way you listen to it?

Gallery: Curated Multimedia Exhibits

Curated multimedia exhibits offer a more directed user experience. Organized around themes that emerge organically from the archive, each exhibit focuses on a particular community, sound, or story. In addition to short audio clips, exhibits feature images, explanatory text, and interpretive audio collages and essays, which have been produced by combining material from multiple field recordings.

The exhibits allow for greater contextualization and depth of interpretation than our data visualization tools may offer. They invite you to consider what particular sounds mean to particular individuals and communities in particular times and places. They also provide an alternative way of imagining relationships and connections among the recordings in the ARSP archive.

We will add more exhibits over time, and plan to invite collaborating scholars and students to curate exhibits of their own. Our gallery is not meant to be exhaustive of the possibilities for organizing and interpreting the materials in our collection. Instead, we hope these exhibits will suggest other stories that might be told and other themes that might be explored. As you tour the gallery, we invite you to reflect on additional ways we might attend to the varied sonic cultures of American religious life.