Advances in the Study of Information and Religion




Hymnary.org is a large hymnological database that provides information about thousands of hymnals and millions of hymn instances. It has media files and nearly 2,000 scanned hymnals. The authors conducted a user survey between August 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012 to determine a typical user profile and user expectations of Hymnary.org. Respondents were asked to provide information about themselves, their interest in hymnody, how they found Hymnary.org, how they used it, and whether the database met their information needs. The survey revealed that frequent users are most commonly involved with worship planning, followed by users with an academic interest in hymnological information. The primary entry point to Hymnary.org was a search for a specific hymnal, and users were interested in both text and tune information. Users show a need to understand the limitations of copyright, and to be made aware of the commercial hymn arrangements available via Hymnary.org.