I recently noticed that BYU’s Mormon Literature Database was broadening it’s scope and asked Gideon Burton, assistant professor of English, for more detail. Here is what he e-mailed me:
“The Mormon Literature Database was renamed Mormon Literature & Creative Arts on May 19, 2007, signaling an important broadening of institutional support at BYU for scholarship on Mormon culture. The database (up and going since 2003) had already begun expanding beyond belletristic literature to include speeches and other genres, and had escalated to some 20,000 works and 5000 authors. Given the relational nature of the database, it was only logical to begin linking Mormon literary works with their artistic counterparts in music or film (LDS poetry has been adapted to hymns, for example, and Mormon novels have been adapted to film, etc.).
“Working with subject librarians Julie Williamsen (film) and Janet Bradford (music) at BYU, as well as with scholar Randy Astle (London Film School and historian of Mormon film) and church librarian Karen Bolzendahl, we have begun to adapt the database for these other arts and to integrate bibliographies on Mormon film and music these specialists have collected–linking all of this to the extant authors, creative personnel, and works already in the database.
“Although the music entries will not be put in until later this year and early 2008, there are some 7000 works of Mormon music (and their associated composers,lyricists, etc.) ready to go in. Film is further along, with some 2200 films already entered and many hundreds more to come. One of our goals was to get the film entries online concurrent with the publication of the double issue on Mormons and movies being published by BYU Studies at the end of the summer. One can already find charts outlining the five waves of Mormon movies that Randy Astle establishes in his long history of Mormon film for that issue with links to each of the films listed in those periods.
“We are most eager to receive additions and corrections regarding films, especially, since we are more able to accommodate those in the database now, and ultimately music. Our plan will be to have mp3 samples of music, access to online music scores, and for film, links to the library’s new streaming server where many Mormon films we anticipate will be archived and made publicly available.
“This is an exciting time for the expansion of scholarship on Mormons, and we see the Mormon Literature & Creative Arts database as a central resource for those doing cultural studies of Mormonism.”
Thanks for the update, Gideon. I encourage AMV readers to participate in this project. It’s a great resource.