Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Research Guides

The Archabbey Library has compiled the following information to help with academic research.

Guide to Finding Articles

Here are some ways to access journal articles through Archabbey Library. Print versions of some journals can be found in the periodicals section of the library. Others can be accessed in full-text versions through our online databases. If you discover an article you want and the library does not subscribe to the journal, electronically or in print, you can order the article through Interlibrary Loan.

Searching for Articles
The best place to begin searching for articles is a database or index. Online databases  have full-text articles available online. Indexes find individual titles in journals. Often the full text of the article is linked online. Some of the best databases and indexes for finding articles in theology or philosophy are:

  • Academic Search Premier. Online database citations, abstracts and full-text articles. Indexes over 10,000 journals from all academic disciplines, including more than 500 in religion and philosophy, most of which are available full-text.
  • ATLA Religion Database with ALTASerials. Online index accessed through EBSCOhost. Contains over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books and book reviews in the field of religion. Contains some full-text access to articles.
  • Catholic Periodical and Literature Index. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Indexes periodicals, books, newspapers, and papal documents dealing expressly with the practice of Catholic faith and life. Online begins with 1981. For pre-1981 literature, consult print edition in Indexes, call number: Ref. AI3.C3.
  • New Testament Abstracts. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Online edition begins with 1985. Sources are both journal articles and books. Print edition begins in 1956 and is found in the Archabbey Library Periodicals collection.
  • Old Testament Abstracts. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Begins in 1978. Sources are predominantly journal articles but also include books, essays and software. Print edition is shelved in Reference, call number: Ref. BS410.O42.
  • JSTOR. These collections contain a wealth of full-text articles on religion and theology, Church history, art, architecture, and music, as well as classical languages and literature.
  • The Philosopher's Index. A current and comprehensive bibliographic database covering scholarly research in all major fields of philosophy. It indexes research published since 1940 including nearly 570 journals from 43 countries.

How to Log on to Databases
On campus: If you are on campus, go to the library's website and click on the "Database" tab and choose the database you want. If you search for a topic in WorldCat Local, which is the library catalog, articles from Arachabbey Library's databases will be included in search results.

Off campus: If you are off campus, click on the "Databases" tab or find resources using the catalog. When you try to open a restricted resource such as an EBSCO database or JSTOR, you will be asked to log in. Your user ID is the 14-digit barcode number from your Archabbey Library card. The first time you attempt to log in, you need to set up a password. Click on "Set/Reset Password" and follow instructions. If you have trouble logging on, call the library at (800) 987-7311 for help.

Searching Tips
EBSCOhost  databases can be searched in a number of ways. The advanced search window offers more search options. To begin a search, you can do a keyword search, which is the default, or a subject search. Once you find a citation on your subject, open the full record and look at the "subjects" category. Each of the listed subjects is hyperlinked to other articles on the same subject. This is a good way to find other articles on your topic.

JSTOR is a very large database of academic articles, but it is not indexed. So all of your searches are going to be keyword searches of the full text of all the articles in JSTOR. You have to be patient and try to find distinctive words or combinations of words to narrow your search. It can take time, but it is worth it.

Resources for Theological Research

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and Handbooks
The following is a highly selective list of recent reference sources that contain short entries and articles on theological ideas, terminology, religious figures, practice and doctrine. Entries with "dictionary" in the title tend to have shorter entries and to focus more on terminology.

Those with "encyclopedia" in the title tend to have longer entries on a wider range of topics. Both frequently have signed articles by prominent scholars and bibliographies of important literature.

In addition to the general sources listed below, Archabbey Library has numerous, more specialized reference sources like these on narrower topics, such as: angels, the early Church, Islam, Judaism, Coptic Christianity, monasticism, patristics and saints. To find these, consult the library catalog or ask a librarian.

  • New Catholic Encyclopedia,  2nd ed. This resource can be accessed online or in print.  The online version can be found by clicking on the "reference" tab of the library's main page. It is in the Gale Virtual Reference Library. The print version is in the Reference Section of the library, call number: Ref. BX841.N44 2003. 15 volumes. This is a basic resource for all subjects relating to Catholicism and Catholic theology. 
  • Oxford Reference Online. The is a general online reference database. It contains a number of dictionaries and encyclopedias in religion, theology and Church history. It can be found under the "Reference" tab of the library's main page.
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia. First edition of the 15-volume Catholic Encyclopedia (1907-1913) made available online by New Advent. Some of the scholarship is dated, but many articles are still useful.
  • Dictionary of Fundamental Theology. Ed. by René Latourelle. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1994. Call number: Ref. BT1102.D5813 1994. One volume. In-depth articles by major scholars on figures, ideas, schools and movements in Christian theology. Each article has a bibliography.
  • The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Ed. by Richard P. O'Brien, et al. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995. Call number: Ref. BX841.H37 1995. One volume. Short articles on figures, events, movements, ideas and institutions, with longer articles on some theological issues.
  • The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Ed. by Adrian Hastings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Call number: Ref. BR95.O94 2000. One volume. Entries by prominent scholars on theological, spiritual and moral aspects of Christianity. Each entry has a short bibliography.
  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. Ed. by E.A. Livingstone. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Call number: Ref. BR95.O8 1997. One volume. A good first source. Entries on figures, events, practices, terms and movements. Most entries have a short bibliography.
  • World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. Ed. by David B. Barrett et. al. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Call number: Ref. BR95.W67 2001. Two volumes. A comparative and statistical survey of churches and Christian denominations in the contemporary world. Organized by country, region, language, institutions, etc.

Indexes and Databases
The following indexes and databases are available through Archabbey Library. Some are available in print, some are online, others are on CD and are searchable on computers in the Library. Some are available in more than one format. Two online indexes, Academic Search Elite and ATLASerials, provide full-text access to some of the articles indexed.

  • EBSCOhost databases. Includes Academic Search Premier, which contains citations, abstracts and full-text articles. Indexes over 10,000 journals from all academic disciplines, including more than 500 in religion and philosophy, most of which are available full-text.
  • ATLA Religion Database with ALTASerials. Online index accessed through EBSCOhost. Contains over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books and book reviews in the field of religion. Contains abstracts for some articles and some full-text access to articles.
  • Catholic Periodical and Literature Index. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Indexes periodicals, books, newspapers and papal documents dealing expressly with the practice of Catholic faith and life. Online begins with 1981. For pre-1981 literature, consult print edition in Indexes, call number: Ref. AI3.C3.
  • ETHX on the Web. Index of journal articles, book chapters, bills, laws, court decisions, reports, books, audio-visuals and news articles relating to bioethics and professional ethics.
  • New Testament Abstracts. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Online edition begins with 1985. Sources are both journal articles and books. Print edition begins in 1956 and is found in the Archabbey Library Periodicals collection.
  • Old Testament Abstracts. Online through EBSCOhost and in print. Begins in 1978. Sources are predominantly journal articles but also include books, essays and software. Print edition is shelved in Reference, call number: Ref. BS410.O42.
  • JSTOR. These collections contain a wealth of full-text articles on religion and theology, Church history, art, architecture and music, as well as classical languages and literature.
  • Oxford Reference Online. Oxford Reference Online brings together language and subject reference works from Oxford University Press into a single cross-searchable resource. It contains dictionaries of religion, the saints, popes, and many other topics in theology and religion.

Useful Internet Sources
There are many open access online sources for both primary and secondary literature in theology. Here are a few of the more reliable sources of high-quality literature and scholarly tools such as Bible concordances.

  • BibleGateway.com A concordance and subject search engine for a large array of Bible translations in many languages, including 21 English versions. A concordance is an alphabetical list of all the words in a work. A biblical concordance can be used to locate a known biblical passage or to learn how a particular word or phrase is used throughout the Bible.
  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library. A good source for the writings of Church Fathers and classic Christian writers. It also has numerous editions of the Bible in original languages, multiple English versions, as well as other modern language versions.
  • Corpus Thomisticum.  A site devoted to the study of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. It contains a Latin edition of his complete works, bibliographies of secondary literature, links to works about St. Thomas and modern language translations of St. Thomas' writings. It also has a very useful online concordance, Index Thomisticus which allows electronic word searching in St. Thomas' writings.
  • Crosswalk.com A concordance for 27 different English translations of the Bible. It also allows searching two English translations using Strong's Concordance, which searches using the root form of the Greek or Hebrew word from which words in the English were translated.
  • Textes des Philosophes Provides links to web pages about individual philosophers and philosophical theologians as well as links to online editions of their writings.
  • Wabash Center Internet Guide to Religion A selective, annotated guide to a wide variety of electronic resources of interest to those who are involved in the study and practice of religion: syllabi, electronic texts, electronic journals, websites, bibliographies, liturgies, reference resources, software, etc.