Reference Therapy from the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library

Professor Owens' OT1 class visits Special Collections on Library Day to learn about the Torah.
Professor Owens' OT1 class visits Special Collections on Library Day to learn about the Torah.

This term, your reference librarian has been invited to be a guest lecturer in our CS1, Introduction to Theological Education course. We’re thinking that this material would be useful even to those who are already familiar with the topic, so here you go. Keep reading for more information on getting the most out of library resources! You can find this information and keep up with the latest news by subscribing to our blog or being our friend on Facebook.

For folks who'd like to find out more information on a particular topic, have a peek at these resources available online to library patrons.

Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, 8th ed. (2009) Encyclopedia of American Religions, 7th ed. (2003) Encyclopedia of PhilosophyEncyclopedia of ReligionAfrican American Almanac

(Note that you'll need your library user name and password to get to the information--if you are a registered library patron and don't have this information, please contact the head of Circulation.)

ATLA, American Theological Library Association religion database.  Available online through the GTS Keller Library homepage and onsite in the Library, this database offers access to the full-text and citations of hundreds of thousands of articles, book reviews and references to journals and books. (Click the first two options on the "choose your database" page to target your search to ATLA-indexed materials.)

Did you know that you can search for articles, book reviews and other materials by scripture passage? Find out more about this by clicking the links below, and make your sermons even more effective! Some amazingly helpful videos are listed below:

JSTOR. From the JSTOR website: "JSTOR is a digital library of more than 1,800 academic journals, 16,000 books, and 2 million primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations."

JSTOR is an extensive research database, with thousands of journal and book titles, some citation-only, many others full-text. JSTOR offers several specific collections, of which the Keller Library subscribes to two: the Arts and Sciences Collections III and VII.

We believe that these collections, available online through the GTS Keller Library homepage and onsite in the Library, offer the most relevant articles and citations for our patrons. (While it's not possible to offer full-text access to all the books JSTOR cites, remember that your Keller Library login information gets you access to thousands of ebooks in our collection!)

Some useful searching tips for JSTOR are below:

Because your Keller Library access gets you citations for everything indexed in JSTOR (but not always the full text of the item), it can be helpful to have a MYJSTOR account in addition to using your GTS access for JSTOR research. That way, you'll be able to read other available articles for free instead of paying for downloaded copies.

MYJSTOR – allows individuals to register for JSTOR access and get free access to the full text of three articles at a time. Through this Register and Read program, you get access to "approximately 1,200 journals from more than 700 publishers, a subset of the content in JSTOR."  Here's how this works: first you'd enroll in MYJSTOR, and then you'll get an online bookshelf. On this bookshelf, you can keep up to three articles for online reading (these stay on your bookshelf for a minimum of two weeks). This way, you'll be able to read articles at no cost that you'd otherwise have to purchase.

For more information about research databases and doing research in religion, take a look at these additional resources. The Journal of Religious and Theological Information has a great article on evaluating online sources here and the Wabash Center's got some great information on evaluating internet resources, too.

We are here to help! Please contact a librarian if you have questions or would like a little private reference therapy. Keep up with the latest news about the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library by subscribing to our blog!