Welcome to HistoricHymns.com!

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Watts and Luther

This site is intended to help visitors increase their appreciation of the great heritage of Christian hymnody. Christians have been blessed with a rich treasure of hymns through the ages. Hymns have been written for almost every conceivable occasion and purpose. Yet even experts in the field only know a minute fraction of hymns. Pictured above are Martin Luther and Isaac Watts, two of the great figures in the history of hymns. Click on the Search or Devotionals tabs above and start exploring the wonderful world of hymns!

The original hymnals that contained the hymns in this collection were formatted in a manner that is not as easy to read as the hymns in most modern collections. You can see below how “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” was formatted in The Presbyterian Hymnal published in Philadelphia in 1874. Next to it is how the second setting looks in the Historic Hymnal Series from Vienna Woods Music Company, similar to the appearance in a modern American hymnal, but with all of the original text and notes as found in the original:

Some of the features that make this site stand out from some of the other hymn sites on the Internet are:

HistoricHymns.com is based on historic hymnals. The texts and tunes are from these old collections and reflect those books. Other than the modern formatting and filling in of some of the information about authors, composers, translators, arrangers, etc. most of the original information in the old hymnals is presented as found there. Given that revisionism has been with us since men first set pen and pencil to paper, these hymnals in many cases present common hymns in varied forms with different verses, different translations and many revisions. So rather than present one definitive version of a text, the text is presented as found in each hymnal. Spellings have been updated in most cases to current American usage to facilitate text searching.

HistoricHymns.com is based on dynamic data rather than static pages. The advantages offered by this include the ability to search in more ways to locate information and see it in a comprehensive manner. Any presentation of information of the magnitude contained herein is subject to various technical difficulties as well as not always being suitably shown for the wide variety of formats in use from smart phones to ultra-wide monitors. The presentation of the data will be able to be improved, corrected and expanded in a more feasible manner when based on a database. The Site is not designed to allow visitors to change the data, just to request the information that they see.

HistoricHymns.com is heavily edited to try to ensure that the information is complete, accurate and readable. Many sites dealing with historic hymn information are scans of old hymnals or books with little or no editing and thus present many errors. That said, the data is incomplete in some instances and continued refinements are in process. Attempts are also being made to make the site useful for people with vision impairments.

HistoricHymns.com has invested considerable resources into preparing publication-quality presentations of the hymns similar to that shown above. Consideration is being given to how and in what format this could be distributed with attractive pricing. A store is planned and details will be announced as plans become firmer.

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