Online Databases

The ATLA Religion Database - The American Theological Library Association Religion database is the key database for seminarians. ATLA provides good coverage of Christianity and selective but still helpful coverage of other religions, especially Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. It indexes articles and book reviews from most major English language theological journals and from some especially important non-English journals. It also indexes essays/chapters from selected festschriften, conference proceedings and other multi-author books. ATLA covers literature on Bible, theology, church history, pastoral ministries, Christian education, and world missions. ATLA focuses on scholarly theological literature but includes a significant sampling of non-scholarly publications about popular Christian culture and church life, especially from the mainline Protestant viewpoint. (For additional coverage of popular evangelical magazines, see Christian Periodical Index.) It provides very limited and incomplete coverage of denominationally specific matters like canon law. (For example, ATLA has an agreement with Catholic Periodical and Literature Index not to duplicate coverage of the many popular RC magazines CPLI covers.) As of late 2010, about 285,000 journal articles and book reviews are available online (about 25% of the 1.1 million articles and reviews cited in the database).

AIGYPTOS - Aims to provide full coverage of publications in the field of Egyptology from 1978 to date. Currently adds three to five thousand records annually. Lists books, dissertations, articles, and reviews. No full-text, but includes publication information, ISBN, subjects, and keywords in British English even for non-English titles. Click the flag for an English interface and follow instructions for entering the database. The Search page describes use of Boolean operators. Over a dozen searchable fields with a browse index available for any field. Click on a title in the results list for more detail. See Help for instructions on searching. Aigyptos is a joint project of the Institute of Egyptology of the University of Munich and the Department of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg and is available to all at no cost. The annual "Keilschrift" (cuneiform) bibliography in the journal Orientalia and various annual bibliographies in Archive fur Orientforschungen on Assyriology, Egyptology, etc., are important for ANE studies and OT backgrounds. They are available in print volumes only. For full bibliographic information, location, and call numbers of print volumes, click Orientalia or AfO.

ALEPH - The catalog of the Jewish National Library and Hebrew University. The library collects all material published in Israel or published about Israel anywhere in the world. Its collections of Hebraica and Judaica are the largest in the world. Also available is the Union List of Serials in Israel. Both English and Hebrew interface. Hebrew fonts required to search in Hebrew.

Ancient Jewish resources - Listed by the National Library of Israel

Anthropology Index Online - AIO database, based on the print Anthropological Index to Current Periodicals in the Museum of Mankind, lists citations from 700 scholarly periodicals in the field of anthropology from 1970 to present. Focus is on less technologically developed cultures. AIO includes much material on people groups and culture of interest to world missions. Search operators are very limited. Logical "and" is assumed if you type a phrase. You may use a single logical "or" within a field. You may not combine terms such as "yoruba and (religion or divination or shaman)". Truncation is automatic in the "match anywhere" field. Copies of articles are available at cost from the British Library. AIO is hosted by the (British) Museum of Mankind and is available at no cost to non-commercial users via the Internet. BM will mail photocopies of most articles for a fee.

ARDA/Association of Religion Data Archives - offers hundreds of data collections on religion. The ARDA collection includes data on churches and church membership, religious professionals, and religious groups. Find denominational profiles, syllabi for religion courses, statistics for topics on religion, and religious profiles for virtually all countries of the world and any county or city or state in the U.S. See results of online surveys; watch worship services of different religious groups; and explore cross-national data sources on religion.

ATLA Digital Resources - Provides access to digital images of woodcuts, photographs, sides, papyri, coins, maps, postcards, manuscripts, lithographs, sermons, shape-note tune books, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography.

Bana Research Group, Ltd. - Full-service marketing research providing information and analysis regarding cultural trends and the Christian Church since 1984.

Bartleby Reference Tools - Columbia 6th ed. Encyclopedia, American Heritage 4th ed. Dictionary, Columbia World of Quotations, Rogets II, the New Thesaurus, World Factbook and more.

Biblical Hebrew and Greek study aids - Provides vocabulary study tools to drill and practice the ancient languages.

BIBP Patristics Database - BIBP(Base d'Information Bibliographique en Patristique) lists citations from major scholarly periodicals in the field of early and medieval church history. The native interface is in French, but you can use this database even if you don't know French. Subject headings usually appear in the records in both English and French, but you must use French words to search the subject headings ("descripteurs"). Ability to search English subjects is promised for the future. So you may wish to do an initial search for English title or abstract words, retrieve some records, discover the French subject headings, then execute a second much more complete search. You may use logical operators ET (and), OU (or) and the proximity operator ADJ (adjacent). To execute a search, click "Lancer la requete." BIBP is hosted by the University of Laval and is available to everyone free of charge.

Bible.org - provides access to the full-text of many bible study helps, and expositional works from an evangelical viewpoint. This is also the home of the NET Bible translation.

BibleStudyTools.com - undefinedlargest free online Bible website for verse search and in-depth studies. It provides 39 Bible versions, well known and trusted commentaries, concordances, Bible dictionaries, Biblical encyclopedias, and historical Christian and church books. The site also offers Greek and Hebrew interlinear for the New and Old Testament, lexicons for original Greek and Hebrew reading of Scripture.

Blue Letter Bible - Search the Bible in the KJV, NKJV, NASB and other versions and see biblical passages in the original Greek or Hebrew language with their respective Lexicon translations. Both the KJV and NASB versions are tied to Strong’s numbering system.

BILDI portion of THEOLDI - BILDI (Documentation for Biblical Literature, Innsbruck) cites scholarly journal articles, essays, books and book reviews in several languages on a variety of biblical and theological topics from 1985 to date. Most items in BILDI are also in ATLA, but BILDI provides more thorough coverage of European literature. There is both a German and an English Interface. Online help is available. BILDI is hosted by the University of Innsbruck and is available to everyone at no cost.

  • Books of the Bible are abbreviated. Consult "Search for biblical passages" in Help at the top of the screen and click the listing of books for a list of abbreviations used.
  • Bible chapters are designated with two digits, but Psalms are designated with three digits. For example, write Luke 2 as LK 02.
  • Change the Max. field so that you can see more than 50 records. A search will retrieve up to 500 results.
  • Best practice is to search for chapters, not verses, and to terminate search terms with the asterisk (wildcard). For example: LK 02*
  • Best practice is to search for books of the Bible in the BI (basic index) field, not in the subject field since the subject field misses many results.
  • "?" is a wildcard that matches any single character. Use it to search for diacritics and special characters. For example, M?LLER will match Müller (note u umlat) or Miller, etc.
  • "*" matches zero or more following characters.
  • You may use the logical operators "AND", "OR", "NOT" within any field except year.

Calvinism Resources Database - includes about 10,000 citations for journal articles, book essays, book reviews, and lectures. The list of journals indexed is unavailable but extensive. Browse by subject or author. Search by keyword, title, subject, author, journal, year, or abstract with Boolean AND and OR but no wildcard. Search and mark records. Save or print a bibliography from the marked records. Marks are deleted with a new search. As of Sept 2007, sorting works imperfectly, and records contain some typos. In some cases you must click a title to go to the fuller record for publication information, but these records cannot be added to a bibliography list. Maintained by the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and available free to all.

Cambridge Digital Library - Cambridge University Library contains evidence of some of the greatest ideas and discoveries over two millennia. The library is in the process as adding works from the following two collections.

  • The Foundations of Faith Collection includes important works from many religious traditions, particularly Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. The Library has a collection of over 1000 manuscripts in Hebrew covering a wide range of texts; Bibles, commentaries, liturgy, philosophy, kabbalah, literature and legal documents. Most of these are in codex form though there are also scrolls and fragments; some date back to the earliest collections in the Library. The oldest manuscript in the collection is a copy of the Ten Commandments written on papyrus, and thought to date from the 2nd century B.C. The Library also holds the world's largest and most important collection of Jewish Genizah materials, including the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection - 193,000 fragments of manuscripts considered by many to be as significant as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Christian holdings include the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, one of the most important New Testament manuscripts, the Moore Bede and the Book of Cerne.
  • The Foundations of Science Collection focuses on original scientific manuscripts, beginning with the papers of Isaac Newton and his contemporaries. Cambridge University Library has very strong collections in the history of science. In addition to our Newton collections, the Library holds the papers of, among many other famous scientists, Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Adam Sedgwick, J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, James Clerk Maxwell and Sir George Gabriel Stokes. The Library holds the archives of Cambridge's famous Cavendish Laboratory and is also the repository of the Royal Greenwich Observatory archives, which includes the papers of the Astronomers Royal and the Board of Longitude.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library - is a collection of free full-text documents. Mostly book length classics including the Bible, commentaries, hymns, sermons, many texts from the history of Christianity and some fiction. This is one of the largest sites for public domain religious books.

Christian Reformed Church Periodical Index - Contains over 100,000 citations to publications of institutions of the Christian Reformed Church or to related publications, 1866 to date. Includes Banner and Banner of Truth. For a complete list of periodicals indexed click About. To search, click Advanced Search and enter search terms. Boolean AND and OR supported within and between fields. Choose the field: options include subject or author browse as well as standard fields. Sort by author, title, date, etc. Specify the publication if you wish and click Search. Mark citations of interest and click Print Bib to see the list of marked records. From here you can sort, print, or copy. Marks are cleared after each new search. For detailed information about this resource, see Greg Sennema's "The Christian Reformed Church Periodical Index: A Local Solution to Indexing Periodicals," Journal of Religious and Theological Information 5 (2003): 119-34. CRCPI is maintained by Hekman Library staff of Calvin College and volunteers from around North America. It is freely available to all.

Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon - A lexicon in progress that will eventually contain all Aramaic words from 900 BCE until the Early Middle Ages. Website supports lemma searching, browsing text, creating concordances, searching for English glosses. Texts include targums, inscriptions, legal texts, ostraca, letters, manuscripts, religious texts, Peshitta, and much more. Hosted by the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and available free to everyone.

CRL Catalog - Center for Research Libraries houses over 4 million traditional and digital resources, mostly older works and low use items. Most are not in WorldCat, including thousands of foreign doctoral dissertations. Searches are free but document delivery is expensive: photocopies and loans are $170. If you already have a specific author and title in mind, they will tell you over the phone if they have a copy in stock: 800-621-6044.

Dissertation Express - Search by author, title, or order number. Cannot search or display abstracts. Use DAI (above) for subject searching. Use Dissertation Express to purchase copies of dissertations with your credit card. Includes DTS dissertations. Older dissertations are available only in paper or microform; more recent ones (generally from 1980 to date) are also available as digital images. A typical dissertation download is 12 to 14 megabytes. If you want a DTS dissertation, try DTS PhD dissertations free online. This is just a subset of Dissertation Express, limited to DTS dissertations only. It enables you to download free copies of DTS dissertations, ca 1980 to date, and to purchase copies of older dissertations.

Electronic Resources for Classicists - is one of the most comprehensive sites on the web for this narrow topic. It includes annotated links to all sorts of resources.

Fedstats - provides access to a wealth of US government statistics on demographics, crime, economics, education, environment, health, etc. Includes full-text of the paper edition of the Statistical Abstract of the US, long considered the best one volume compendium of statistics. This is a great resource.

Google Books - Google has scanned millions of books, including many theological works. Google Books allows you to display, copy, print, and download the complete contents of works published before 1923 because such works are no longer protected by copyright. Google Books displays limited portions of works that may still be protected by copyright law. In some cases publishers have granted permission to display rather large portions. Google does not support copying, printing, or downloading. Of course you are especially interested in more recent works for your research, so the free online books will not meet all your needs. Nevertheless, Google Books is a great way to identify relevant recent books that you can buy or borrow from a library. To locate books unavailable from TBS, just click the "Find this book in a library" link Google displays.

Google Scholar - Google Scholar attempts to retrieve only "scholarly" materials. (That seems to mean works that include footnotes and similar citations.) This is much more selective than generic google.com.

iTanakh - indexes many useful Internet resources for the academic study and teaching of the Hebrew Bible. It includes links to ful-text articles, book reviews, and a few online primary sources. Covers biblical and related texts, languages, methods, geographic areas, and other topics. not annotated.

Internet news archives, SLA - "Special Library Association news archive lists hundreds of newspapers that provide the full-text of the papers, often free of charge. Emphasis is on U.S. papers."

Leuven Database of Ancient Books - lists sources for images, facsimiles, transcriptions and related information about ancient texts. Over 8000 Greek MSS. Uses phrase searching. Boolean operators not supported, but wildcarding is automatic. Use New Testament as author name. For book name, use book of the Bible; e.g., Hebrews, Romans, but Mt for Matthew, and Joh for John. Try abbreviations to bring up the correct form. To search include necessary information only. For example, to investigate Heb 3:13 in P13, type P13 in the Repertories field and type Hebrews in the Book field. Specifying chapter and verse will miss the record for "Hebrews 2.14-5.5; 10-12". Sort by author, date, etc., as desired. This database is a free public Internet resource.

LSJ - This online version of the Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon gives each word in the lexicon its own entry. Navigate to any of these Greek headwords using the left menu or type the Latin alphabet equivalent of Greek letters in the search box. Access pop-up snippets of the immediate context of cross-referenced text for each lexical entry. The lexicon searches the full TLG corpus for users who have an institutional subscription and TLG's abridged online demo version otherwise.

Middle Eastern Historical Maps - Viewable and printable maps

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations - The NDLTD has enormously contributed to the increased availability of student research with its huge digital repository. Seventy-five institutions worldwide participate in this scholarly endeavor which supplies researchers freely with thousands of full-text theses and dissertations.

Old Testament Gateway - is a substantial, annotated, academic listing of Internet sites, articles, and other resources. Covers OT, archaeology, commentaries, DSS, apocrypha, etc. Links to Hebrew Bible.

Orion Dead Sea Scrolls database - Covers articles, essays, and books on scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls from 1995 to the present. Updated weekly. Search by author, language (non-English), date of publication, or keyword. Results display as a list of citations except for a keyword search. A keyword search brings up date and author, but click any result for the complete citation. Tips for keyword searching at end of page. Greek and Hebrew letters may not display properly. This bibliography is a joint project with the journal, Revue de Qumran, and appears in that journal twice a year. You must check the pre-1995 vols of RQ for older material. Provided by the Orion Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Free to all.

Perseus - Search and display full-text of ancient Greek and Latin primary source documents. Links to lexicons and sometimes to English translations. Extremely useful site for NT studies. If you have never used Perseus, see DTS page intro to Perseus.

PhilPapers - cites articles from 300+ online philosophy journals, plus unpublished comments posted to the websites of about 1,900 philosophers.

Population Index On the Web - 1986 to present. Updated annually. Covers all fields of interest to demographers. Contains selective indexing with abstracts from journals, books, working papers, doctoral dissertations and other sources. Citations are not written in standard form. The first title is in italics whether it is a book, essay, or article. Read citations carefully to avoid confusion. May be helpful for missions. Free.

Rabbinic texts in Hebrew - Access to Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Tosefta, Mishneh Torah (Maimonides). Hebrew interface; no English.

Religion Online - Link to more than 6,000 scholarly articles and chapters.  Includes Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics History, and Sociology of religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.

ResearchBase - provides access to the full-text of a few thousand popular and scholarly articles on contemporary theological and cultural topics, especially issues of interest to college students. Works from a socially, politically, theologically, and culturally conservative viewpoint predominate. LeadershipU ResearchBase is hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ and is available to everyone at no cost.

Restoration Serials Index - Indexes articles from about 80 periodicals produced within the restoration movement (Church of Christ). Most are popular/nonscholarly, and apparently not indexed elsewhere. Many are very hard to find. Search by keyword, subject, author, or title. Search engine allows one word per field with logical operators between fields. Available free to anyone courtesy of the Jessie C. Eury Library at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary.

Review of Biblical Literature - Substantive reviews of scholarly literature in biblical studies. Updated weekly but the books tend to be about two years old before they are reviewed. About 400 reviews per year. Sponsored by Society for Biblical Literature.

RIM - The Research in Ministry database lists and abstracts most but not all North American DMin dissertations (over 9,000 as of Feb 2005). You may search by author, title, subject, keyword, etc. Keyword includes words from titles, subjects, abstracts. ATLA provides free access to this resource, but the number of simultaneous users is limited because ATLA has to pay a license fee for each user. So when you try to use RIM you may get a message that all sessions are in use. If so, try later.

Talmud, Soncino English translation - Includes Full Text Talmud Resources

Threshold Online Books - Includes online works of Wayne Grudem, Jr., John Piper, F.F. Bruce, John Calvin, Charles Hodge, Jonathan Edwards, and many others.

The Vick Library Index - lists some conservative, fundamentalist, and Baptist literature which is not indexed elsewhere. Includes citations to over 42,000 periodical articles, encyclopedia articles, book reviews, and theses from 1951 to present. Mostly popular, nonscholarly literature. Search engine does not support logical operators but retrieves records containing all terms entered. Search by keyword in author, title, subject, or summary. Limit by year, item type, or publication title. Browse by subject or author. Available free to anyone courtesy of Baptist Bible College.

Internet Sacred Text Archive - Largest full-text archive of "holy books" on the net. Covers religion, mythology, legend, folk-lore, occult, and sacred books or canonical texts in many religious traditions (Koran, Bible, Gita, etc.)

RAMBI/Index of Articles on Jewish Studies - Lists citations from scholarly periodicals on all aspects of Judaica, modern and ancient, (including biblical studies and rabbinics), and area studies of the land of Israel. Coverage begins with 1985. The database includes some English records and some Hebrew records. There is an English interface. If you search in English, then you retrieve English records. If you search in Hebrew, you retrieve the Hebrew records. So you must do two searches to retrieve everything. You may use the usual logical operators (and, or, not), the * (asterisk) symbol as a wildcard, and the % (percent) symbol followed by a number as a proximity operator to indicate you want two words within a particular number of words of each other. Subject headings for books of the Bible look like this: "Genesis (Book of): 14". RAMBI is hosted by the Jewish National Library at Hebrew University and is available to everyone free of charge.

Researching World Christianity - English language doctoral dissertations on Christianity outside the West (i.e., excluding Christianity in Europe, Australasia, and North America). Very good coverage of missions. Also available at International Bulletin of Missionary Research website.

TREN - Search the TREN database for masters theses and some scholarly conference papers. Over 13,000 items. Search by title, author, institution, degree, subject, year, or conference. Search options include a drop-down list of schools and conferences. Items are available in paper, fiche, and some as pdf downloads. Pay by credit card over a secure website.

Wabash Center Gateway - The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is extensive and expansive. We’ve created a taxonomy of topics relevant to teachers of religion and theology. You can browse, or type in search terms and see results of Published Resources or links to resources available directly from the Web. - Provides links to religious and especially Christian Internet resources. Aims to serve needs of clergy and seminary faculty and students. Sometimes difficult to use because of the organizational structure. May be the biggest gateway to high quality theological Internet sites.

WorldCat - WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services, letting you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. Search for popular books, music CDs and videos of the physical items you're used to getting from libraries. You can also discover many new kinds of digital content, such as downloadable audiobooks. You may also find article citations with links to their full text; authoritative research materials, such as documents and photos of local or historic significance; and digital versions of rare items that aren't available to the public. Because WorldCat libraries serve diverse communities in dozens of countries, resources are available in many languages.

Yale's Research Guide for Christianity - Excellent annotated guide to library and Internet resources selected to meet the needs of the average seminarian. Links to library catalogs, key theological reference books, journals, internet sites, primary sources. Includes many books and resources not available over the Internet.