Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology


The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology is the public launch of the ‘impossible task’ – the replacement for the Dictionary of Hymnology produced by John Julian in 1892, with a supplement in 1907.

The Dictionary is the result of ten years’ research by a team of editors headed by Professor J.R. Watson, University of Durham, UK, and Dr Emma Hornby, University of Bristol, UK.

It is an essential reference resource for scholars of global hymnody, with information on the hymns of many countries and languages, and a strong emphasis on the historical as well as the contemporary. It will be of interest to literary scholars, musicians, church historians, and theologians, and a delight for those who love the hymn as an art form.

The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology offers:

Depth: It contains 2 million words, 5000 individual entries and more than 300 authors from over 30 countries writing on hymns of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, from the earliest years to those written today.

Breadth: It includes articles on individual hymns, authors from many countries, hymnals, organisations, and themes, as well as information on hymn tunes and their composers.

Scope: The work covers a multitude of hymn traditions from all the world’s continents, regions, and denominations,  it is ecumenical and international.

Accuracy and updates: Published online to allow for regular additions, amendments and corrections.


Members of The Hymn Society can access the dictionary by clicking below.

Click Here to Go to the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology