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. Gallery exhibits integrate images, text, audio clips, and interpretive audio collages and essays to tell stories about particular communities, practices, or themes. They allow for richer contextualization and greater depth of interpretation than our data visualization tools can offer. Collectively, they explore religion as an audibly complex social, political, environmental and embodied phenomenon and invite us to consider how our understanding of religion in America changes when we begin by listening.

Our gallery features two types of curated digital exhibits. Some of the exhibits were created by ARSP Interpretive Scholarship Award grantees and other scholarly contributors, based on their academic research. Other exhibits were developed by ARSP staff members, organized around materials from the ARSP’s extensive archive of audio recordings. These exhibits provide an alternative way of imagining relationships and connections among the materials in the archive.

Our gallery is not meant to be exhaustive of the possibilities for documenting and interpreting the role of sound and sonic practices in American religions. 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.