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Gospel Music History Archive

About this Collection

In an effort to create the most advanced and comprehensive digital music archive in the world, the Gospel Music History Archive (GMHA) benefits greatly from the passion and expertise of its institutional partners.

In 2006, fire gutted Chicago’s historic Pilgrim Baptist Church, destroying irreplaceable documents, including the original sheet music and letters of Thomas A. Dorsey, the “Father of Gospel Music.” While the tragedy deprived the world a significant part of the historic legacy of one of America’s great composers and arrangers, the event also underscored the need for the systematic collection and preservation of the history of gospel music.

The GMHA is an effort to preserve the legacy of gospel music in a state-of-the-art digital archive. The GMHA digitizes and catalogues important documents and makes them available in a searchable database to scholars, gospel artists, librarians, church historians, teachers, and anyone with Internet access. The archive contains original audio and visual video interviews, music files, publicity materials, photographs, film, scholarly articles, and analysis from academic and gospel-community-based experts. When complete, the GMHA will be the largest and most advanced digital repository for these collections in the world.
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View our statement on digital primary resources and historical description.

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