GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons

Frequently Asked Questions

What time period does GEMMS cover? Why? Are there plans to extend this time period or to link to other resources that extend coverage?

GEMMS offers access to manuscript sermons and sermon notes dated 1530-1715. This time period begins with the English Reformation under Henry VIII and ends with the death of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, a period for which there are tens of thousands of sermon manuscripts. We have been required to limit ourselves to this period by our available resources. Should we at a later date have sufficient resources, we will consider extending coverage into the eighteenth century. As we become aware of resources available to scholars that would extend coverage, we will add links to these resources from our website and build partnerships where possible with other projects. At some point, it is possible that we will extend coverage into the later eighteenth century.

What geographical range does GEMMS cover? Why? Are there plans to extend this geographical range or to link to other resources that extend coverage?

The database includes materials from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America. At a later date we may include materials from other European countries. We provide access primarily to materials in English, secondarily in Latin, and occasionally in other languages, including French and German. Extending coverage would require resources not presently available, including the ability to work with additional languages.

Links to libraries will help users to locate materials from other regions and in other languages, and we will link to other resources and build partnerships with other projects when possible to extend access.

Why does GEMMS not supply transcriptions or images? Are there future plans to build these into the resource?

Our primary goal is to provide access to archives rather than replicating them. At the moment, our resources are best used in identifying and describing manuscripts most useful to a wider range of scholars.

Providing transcriptions and images will require additional resources. We will post links to sources for images that are publicly available. Once we move into the group-sourcing phase of the project, contributors may contribute transcriptions and images that can be shared freely.

How many items are in GEMMS?

GEMMS currently contains records for 29849 sermons, 187 sermon reports, and 1636 manuscripts. Items are constantly being added to the database.

When will GEMMS be fully accessible to users?

The database is fully accessible to users following its launch on 4 May, 2017. New data and functionality is being added constantly, and corrections and changes will be made as necessary.

How can I contribute data, news, or blogposts to GEMMS?

You may contact the project through our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook) or through the contact button on the home page of the website.

How can I correct existing data in GEMMS?

At this time, please contact us through the contact button on the home page of the website. A more formal mechanism will be introduced once we enter the group-sourcing phase of the project.

Do I need asubscription to access GEMMS?

No. The database is freely available through ITER.