New database for Religious Studies students & scholars!

From Alexander Street Press, the library just subscribed to The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts. Here is a little information about it from the database’s site:

A uniquely exhaustive resource for historians, theologians, political scientists, and sociologists studying the religious and social upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries, the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts gives researchers immediate, Web-based access to an extensive range of seminal works from the Reformation and post-Reformation eras.

The database uses PhiloLogic software, developed at the University of Chicago, to enable in-depth browsing and searching of a treasury of theological writings, biblical commentaries, confessional documents, sermons, letters, polemical treatises, and other works by hundreds of Protestant authors.

Many of the books on it can only be found in the rare book rooms of the world’s oldest libraries, such as the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Almost all works in The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts are period editions which have been presented in their original languages of Latin, English, French, and German.  The criteria for selecting which works are entered into this database include:

  • Works are generally published between 1500-1700.
  • Authors are all residents of Western Europe.
  • Documents are of a theological or religious nature.
  • Works display a broad representation of various theological traditions.
  • Works include a wide array of document types.
  • Period editions are preferred.
  • First edition works have been selected unless scholars determined that a later edition is more noteworthy.

There are a number of different ways to use this database. You can browse by author, works, topics, genres or religious traditions. The database also features a search option. You can select a particular author, like Jean Calvin, and then search his works by keyword, biblical citation or topic. You may also simultaneously search all the texts in the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts by keyword, biblical citation or topic, and limit your search by author, title, theological tradition, genre, publisher, publication city, publication country, publication date or publication language.

To try out this new database, visit http://eastern.edu/library and click on Databases. Off-campus? Look for a link in your MyAthens account to appear in the next couple of weeks. We think this will be a very useful tool for Eastern religious studies students and faculty alike!

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