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Sunday School Books in Nineteenth Century America Dataset

Network visualization of concepts in The African Slave Trade (1860)
Connections in Sunday School Books Data Set

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Sunday School Books in Nineteenth Century America Dataset


The Sunday School Books in Nineteenth Century America dataset includes Sunday school books published between 1809 and 1887, and reflects the emerging diversity of Protestant Christian denominations in the United States during that period. Additionally, texts included also mark the appearance of a theologically inflected genre of juvenile literature, which was published by a variety of sectarian presses.

Preferred Citation

Sunday School Books in 19th Century America. East Lansing: Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections. https://www.lib.msu.edu/ssbdata/


The Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in 19th Century America collection, from which this dataset is derived, was produced by Michigan State University with assistance from Central Michigan University. Sunday School Book Titles are drawn from the Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection, Michigan State University Libraries, and the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Funding for the project came in part from a Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Award.

Data Summary


The Sunday School Books in 19th Century America dataset consists of 166 files, each file corresponds to a hand transcribed text file derived from a Sunday School Book. 

File Naming Conventions

  • yearpublished_partialtitle   -  e.g. 1809_MemoirsofMrsElean.txt


  • txt - 11.9 MB (uncompressed)​

Data Quality

Quality of text is of high fidelity to original text given hand transcription rather than application of optical character recognition (OCR). 


Data description prepared by Thomas Padilla, Devin Higgins, Bobby Smiley, and Lucas Mak. Data is derived from the Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in Nineteenth Century America collection.