About the Project
The Religion in Kansas Project is an open access digital archive that creates and curates online collections of oral histories, digitized ephemera, and digital exhibitions relating to religious experience and diversity in Kansas. Kansas is religiously a microcosm of the nation, with a history reflecting its inhabitants' varied roots and a rich present-day diversity of religious experience. All of America’s largest religious families – Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans – are well represented, but so are a legion of less populous groups. These include familiar faith groups like Jews, Amish, Muslims, and Buddhists, and also those less well-known, like Swedenborgians, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Pagans, Lawsonians, and Babsonians. At first glance, Kansas' religious environment may appear homogeneous, but the diversity of Kansas religious experience is deep and multifaceted. The Religion in Kansas Project tells stories of religious multiplicity that are uniquely Kansan, but integral to understanding the larger American religious experience.
The mission of the Religion in Kansas Project is to collect and digitally preserve resources that document the history and diversity of religious experience in Kansas. An emphasis is made on making these resources free and publicly available online. Through this endeavor, the Project will help the public form connections to greater subjects of diversity, religion, and American identity. The Religion in Kansas Project archive averages over 6,000 item views and 3,000 item downloads a year by users from the United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, China, Canada, Japan, Poland, and New Zealand.
This collection is housed by and made accessible through the Moore Reading Room, which is managed by the University of Kansas Department of Religious Studies, and through this website.
The Religion in Kansas Project aspires to become a comprehensive database for resources and information documenting the historical and contemporary role of religion in the lives of Kansans. We partner with libraries, archives, museums, religious communities, and individuals throughout the state to facilitate the digitization and preservation of relevant resources. We welcome you to share your stories, photographs, videos, and other resources by uploading them through this website, or to contact us directly with questions or information.
The Religion in Kansas Project would like to thank the Friends of the Department of Religious Studies for their generous financial support. The 2018-19 "Roots of Pentecostalism in Kansas" research project examined the origins of the Pentecostal movement in Kansas, and was supported by a grant from Humanities Kansas. A 2014-15 indexing project highlighting the religious collections of repositories across the state of Kansas was supported by a Carnegie-Whitney Grant from the American Library Association. The Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center was a vital resource that made the original web presence of the project possible, establishing a vision for the project and handling a wide range of technical details. We'd also like to thank KU ScholarWorks for their technical support and partnership.
Patricia Cecil, Religion in Kansas Project Archivist