(Digital Collections) Getting to Know the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP)

One of our bigger projects here at the Digitization Projects Group is the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP). Established in 2008, it seeks to preserve America’s proud tradition of black gospel music through digitization, access, and new research.

From the earliest days of the project, we established a blog for interested parties to track our progress. Now, as part of our consolidated outreach efforts around the DPG’s various digital projects, we’re excited to announce the addition of the BGMRP blog’s content into this blog. Future updates on the BGMRP will be made via the Digital Collections blog, while users who frequented the old site will be encouraged to keep up with the project here as well.

Below is the introductory post from the previous BGMRP blog, as well as information on some neat national publicity the project has experienced in the past few years. We’ll have more information on the BGMRP’s future as we move forward, and we encourage you to get involved with this unique, important project in any way you can. America’s gospel tradition is definitely something to sing about – and preserve for generations to come.

Purpose of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP)

The ultimate goal of the project is to preserve and store a digital copy of the audio long term, and to provide standards-based discovery tools through an online interface into a full catalog of materials, along with samples of all tracks from the audio archive.

The BGMRP identifies, acquires, preserves, records and catalogues mainly 78s, 45s, LPs, and the various tape formats issued in the U.S and abroad during the 1945-1970 time period. However, the project will also digitally preserve any ephemera that may be of use to scholars, including PR photos, press packets, interviews, photographs and sheet music.
As work on the BGMRP progresses, we will use this blog to present information such as:

  • Updates on the status of the collection, including updated stats, information on newly received collections/loaned materials, etc.;
  • Notes from Tony Tadey and Stephen Bolech, our audio engineers, on the technical side of digitizing these often fragile materials;
  • Photos of items received, BGMRP staff at work, and much more;
  • Information for collectors, including how to loan/donate to the BGRMP;
  • A system for adding your comments; and
  • A forum where gospel enthusiasts can exchange information, give us tips on sources for materials, reminisce about their favorite gospel memories, and more.

Check back often for more posts, and please email us at librarywebmaster@baylor.edu with questions, comments, or things you think might make this blog more useful.

Thank you for your interest in the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project. You can help us ensure the project’s success by becoming involved and spreading the word, so please feel free to pass along our URLs to one and all. You never know – someone you tell about the BGMRP may be the contact we need to preserve an irreplaceable piece of American cultural history!

Publicity for the BGMRP
Some recent stories involving the BGMRP have been mentioned in the press. Check out more information at these links!

Civil Rights on the Flipside: Baylor Press Release.

“A Life’s Work” – a documentary about “people engaged with projects they may not complete in their lifetime”: Robert Darden and the BGMRP

To See More Posts on the BGMRP
Click on “Black Gospel Music Restoration Project” in the categories list to the right, or click “BGMRP” in the tags below.

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