Reference Tools and Bibliographies


By subject area

Guides to religious reference materials

Guide Bibliographique des Sciences Religieuses (Moulinet, Daniel, Paris: Salvator, 2000.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, Z7751 .M68 2000
The Guide Bibliographique is a bibliographic guide in French that is intended for students undertaking doctoral research. Section One presents general works on religion. The subsequent sections are devoted to different disciplines and present first manuals and guides for study, then dictionaries, works and bibliographies, collections, and principal periodicals. The guide is not limited to works in French. Some entries are annotated. The Guide provides an author name index, and periodical index, and very helpful topical index for periodicals.
Literature of Theology : a Guide for Students and Pastors, Rev. Ed  (David R. Stewart, Louisville, Ky. : Westminster John Knox Press, c2003.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, eZ7751 .B67 2003
Most up-to-date work listing and evaluating reference tools in the field.
Reference Works for Theological Research (Robert J. Kepple,and John R. Muether. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, Z7751 K46 1992
An annotated, selective bibliographic guide.
Religious Information Sources: a worldwide guide (Melton, J. Gordon. New York : Garland Pub., 1992.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, Z7751 M45 1992
Lists more than 2,500 reference sources.
Theological and Religious Reference Materials (G.E. Gorman, and Lyn Gorman with the assistance of Donald N. Matthews. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1984.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, Z7751 G66 1984
Sterling Memorial Library (L & B), Z7770 G56 1984
Three volumes. This work attempts to be international and interdenominational in scope. It gives an outline of all major reference works in theology as well as extensive evaluations and annotations.

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Encyclopedias and Dictionaries (a few selected general resources)

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought (Ed. Alister E.McGrath. (Oxford, England; Cambridge, Mass. : Blackwell, 1993.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 B58
Sterling Memorial Library, Stacks, BR95 B58
Articles on major themes, movements, and individuals in Christianity since 1700.
Brill Dictionary of Religion Rev. ed. (Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2006.)
DIVINITY, Trowbridge Reference Room (Non-Circulating), BL65.C8 M4813 2006
Sterling Memorial Library, Starr Main Reference Room (Non-Circulating), BL65.C8 M4813 2006 (LC)
A comprehensive, multi-media reference source which covers the many and various forms of religious commitment. It includes entries on the different theologies and doctrinal declarations of official institutionalized religions and gives equal consideration to other religious phenomena and practices as well.
Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Ed. Elizabeth A. Livingstone, Oxford; NewYork: Oxford University Press, 2000)
Divinity Library, Stacks, BR95 O82 2000
The Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition (Ed. Lindsay Jones. New York, N.Y. : Macmillan, 2005.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BL31 .E46 2005
Sterling Memorial Library, Main Reference Room, BL31 .E46X 2005
Fifteen volumes. Includes extensive coverage of non-Western religions.
New Catholic encyclopedia, 2nd edition (Detroit : Thomson/Gale ; Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America, 2003)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BX841 .N44 2003
Fifteen volumes. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America.
New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Ed. A. Hauck, New York: Funk and Wagnalls)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR94, S435
Sterling Memorial Library, Reference Room, BR95 +S32
Thirteen volumes. Covers biblical and historical theology, denominations, doctrines, controversies...
New Twentieth-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: an extension of the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Ed. J.D. Douglas; consulting editors, Robert G. Clouse, et al., Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Book House, 1991)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 N395 1991
May be used as a supplement to Schaff-Herzog, or independently.
The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (edited by Adrian Hastings, Alistair Mason and Hugh Pyper ; with Ingrid Lawrie and Cecily Bennett. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 O77 2000
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd edition (Ed. F. L. Cross, London; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 .O8 2005
Sterling Memorial Library, Reference Room, BR95 .O8 2005
More than 6,000 articles. Broad coverage of historical and doctrinal development, biographies, and definitions of ecclesiastical terms and customs.

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Biographical information

Online Resources, General:

American National Biography
American National Biography offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women -- from all eras and walks of life.
Biography Index a Cumulative Index to Biographical Material in Books and Magazines  (New York, H.W. Wilson Co.)
Online database covers period since 1984; print volumes cover period from 1946. English-language periodicals, books, and selected obituaries are cited. The index's coverage is not comprehensive, but it is a useful place to start.
Biography Resource Center
The Biography Resource Center (BioRC) is a comprehensive database of biographical information throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas.
World Biographical Index
The World Biographical Index includes basic information about people from North and South America, Western and Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania, through the beginning of the 20th century. It indexes over 3000 biographical reference works and contains over one million entries.

Online Resources, Religious:

Biographical sketches of memorable Christians of the past (Sponsored by the Society of Archbishop Justus)
Anglican resource for finding biographies on saints; can be searched alphabetically, chronologically, or by calender observance.
Société des Bollandistes
The Société des Bollandistes has been one of the foremost societies devoted to hagiographical research for over 350 years.
Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians
E-brary electronic book; also available hardcopy: Divinity Library Trowbridge Reading Room & SML Reference: BR95 .B575X 2002

Print Resources, General:

American National Biography (New York : Oxford University Press, 1999)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, CT213 A68 1999 (LC) - 24 volumes
National Faculty Directory (Gale Research Co. Gale Research Inc., Detroit, MI, 1970.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, L901 N34
Sterling Memorial Library, Reference, L901 +N368
Lists name, address, and department for about 650,000 faculty members in higher education in the U.S.

Print Resources, Religious:

Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography : 1730-1860 (Ed. Donald M. Lewis. Oxford; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1995.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room BR1643 A1 B65 1995
International biographical dictionary of religion. (Ed. Jon C. Jenkins ; assisted by Cecile Vanden Bloock. Union of International Associations, Brussels; Munchen : Saur, 1994.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BL72 I58 1994
Sterling Memorial Library, Main Reference Room, BL72 +I58
An encyclopedia of more than 4,000 leading personalities
Who's Who in Theology: From the First Century to the Present. (John Bowden. NY: Crossroad, 1992.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 B65
The aim is to introduce anyone who is interested to the main figures relevant to Christian thought from the end of the New Testament period to the present day. Each entry provides names, dates, and a certain amount of biographical information. An appendix provides a listing and description of the popes.
A Dictionary of Christian biography, literature, sects, and doctrines. (New York : AMS Press, 1984.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR95 S65
Four volumes. Provides information about persons connected with the Christian church down to the age of Charlemagne.
Twentieth Century Dictionary of Christian Biography (Ed. J.D. Douglas.Cumbria, England : Paternoster Press; Grand Rapids, Mich.:Baker Books, 1995.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BR1700.2 T9
Dictionary of American Religious Biography (Henry Warner Bowden; Edwin S.Gaustad, advisory editor. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1977.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BL72 B68
Sterling Memorial Library, Main Reference Room, BL72 B68X
Biographical sketches of 550 deceased persons, "American religious figures from all chronological periods and most denominational or theological affiliations."
Biographical dictionary of Christian missions (Ed. by Gerald H. Anderson. Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1999)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BV3700 B56 1999
The Book of Saints : a Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary (Dom Basil Watkins, OSB on behalf of the Benedictine monks of St. Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate. New York: Continuum, 2002)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BX4655.3 .B66X 2002
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (David Hugh Farmer. Oxford; New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BX4655.2 A8
Penguin Dictionary of Saints (Donald Attwater with Catherine Rachel John. London; New York : Penguin Books, 1995.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BX4655.2 A8 1995
Lives of the Saints (Butler's Lives of the Saints) (general consultant editor, David Hugh Farmer ; managing editor, Paul Burns ; general introduction by David Hugh Farmer. Tunbridge Wells, Kent : Burns & Oates ; Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, 1995-<1997>)
Divinity Library, Stacks, BX4654 B8 1995 - 12 volumes
A New Dictionary of Saints (compiled by Donald Attwater ; edited and revised by John Cumming. Collegeville, MN : Liturgical Press, 1994, c1993.)
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, BX4655.2 A8 1994

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Book Reviews

N.B.: Though notices or summaries of books will appear fairly quickly, scholarly book reviews usually don't appear in journals until a year or two after the book itself is published.

Print Resources:

Theological book review. (Guildford, Surrey : Feed the Minds, 1988- )
Divinity Library, Trowbridge Reference Room, Z7751 T435

Online Resources:

ATLA/ATLAS Religion Database
Users can restrict their search to book reviews by selecting Review from the dropdown box for Publication Type in the Refine Search area. Coverage of book reviews goes back to 1949.
America: History & Life
In the main search area, check the box next to Reviews to search for book reviews.
Book Review Digest Plus
Book Review Index Online Plus
Reviews date from 1965 to the present.
Catholic Periodical & Literature Index Online
Book reviews can be searched from the Advanced Search page by selecting Book Review from the dropdown box for Publication Type in the Refine Search area.
IBR International Bibliography of Book Reviews
IBR contains over 1,086,940 entries about book reviews from 1985 onwards.
Review of Biblical Literature
The RBL database, expanded weekly, contains over 1843 published reviews.

See also Indexes and Abstracts: many of the electronic indexes include book reviews.
See also under Selected Journals: Review journals

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Language Resources

The study of religion often requires the knowledge of languages other than English, including Hebrew and Greek for Biblical Studies; Latin, German and French for the study of theology; Hebrew, Aramaic, and other languages for the study of the Ancient Near East. The following resources are available to assist you in working with the diversity of languages involved in the study of religion:

Online Resources:

Aleph-Bet on the Net
Tutorials designed to reinforce vocabulary and spelling for beginning students of modern Hebrew.
Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon
The CAL database search page currently offers complete CAL lemma search, search for English glosses, text browse, Targum studies module, basic concordance search, advanced search by multiple text number(s), and advanced search by dialect. You can also generate concordances on the screen for selected words, have the option of browsing specific Aramaic texts with the option of word analysis. The Targum search page allows you to view and analyze a given biblical verse in all its available Aramaic versions. You can also search for the translation of an English word into Aramaic.
Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari
The CMCL is an enterprise dedicated to the study of Egyptian Christian culture in the I-XII centuries C.E., especially for the documents in Coptic language. This web site contains the archives of the CMCL: texts, grammar, history of literature, catalogue of manuscripts, bibliography. One can consult the list of the authors and works of the Coptic literature with information on manuscripts, content, and critical problems; the list of the Coptic codices either well preserved or reconstructed, especially from the Monastery of St. Shenoute, Atripe (White Monastery); the electronic edition of Coptic texts with Italian translation; the history of Coptic literature; a computational grammar of Sahidic; a full bibliography. Contact for ID & password.
Database of Latin Dictionaries
The Database of Latin Dictionaries comprises a number of Latin dictionaries, including dictionaries to assist translation from Latin into modern languages, dictionaries providing semantic and etymological explanations in Latin of Latin words, and historical Latin dictionaries.
Greek Language and Linguistics
Resources to facilitate the study of Ancient Greek and to promote the application of methodologies from the field of Linguistics to the study of Classical and Hellenistic Greek.
Hebrew Alphabet
Hebrew Program at Yale University
Historical dictionary including text from Dead Sea scrolls, Rabbinical literature, piyutim, and various other sources documenting and illustrating Hebrew language usage between 100 and 1050 A.D.
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press) is in an online version which enables the full text of the Dictionary to be searched in a way impossible in the printed version, and which allows updates more rapidly and more frequently than ever before. Language is constantly evolving, and there has been a great proliferation of new words and meanings in English throughout the world since the original publication of the OED between 1884 and 1928. Now, for the first time ever, the Dictionary is being completely revised. Every one of the 250,000 entries is being updated, and many more will be added during the course of this unprecedented revision programme, which is expected to double the length of the text. Draft versions of new and revised entries from the revision programme will be added to OED Online at quarterly intervals, with each revised entry being linked to the Second Edition version for comparison.
Oxford Language Dictionaries Online
Trial Database. Initially offering millions of words, phrases, and translations, in French, German, Spanish and Italian, the site will expand to include many other languages such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Polish. Included are usage examples and illustrative phrases, grammar guidance, click-through verb tables and pronunciation charts, explanations of grammatical terms, and help with spelling and punctuation. Also included are hundreds of correspondence templates including sample letters, CVs and resumes to provide practical help with writing in each language. Contextualized language reference help includes notes on life and culture, guidance on grammar and idiomatic usage, and Words of the Day. Updates every six months ensure that the most current meanings and the latest new words are just a click away. Advanced search options allow users to search the full text of each dictionary, or restrict a search to specific parts of speech or language register. Extensive links to language lea! rning and usage supplements provide a 'learn as you go' gateway to further language study. Citation information is available for all entries.
Oxford Reference Online
Over 100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works published by Oxford University Press combined in a single cross-searchable resource. Click on the link in the database for Bilingual Dictionaries to get access to a selection of language resources, including the following:
  • The Concise Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary (English-French / French-English)
  • The Concise Oxford-Duden German Dictionary (English-German / German-English)
  • The Pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary (English-Latin / Latin-English)
  • The Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary (English-Spanish / Spanish-English)
Resources for Biblical Language Computing
This web site, a joint project of the Yale Divinity Library and the Yale Center for Language Study, is designed to guide YDS students in the process of setting up their personal computers with unicode fonts for biblical language computing. The instructions on the website will enable students to use biblical Hebrew and Greek and reliably print documents using the appropriate fonts.
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae
The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae has collected and digitized most literary texts written in Greek from Homer to the fall of Byzantium in 1453 CE. Its goal is to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era. The TLG Canon of Authors and Works is a bibliographic guide to the authors and works included in the TLGĀ® Digital Library. Before you begin, you may select a Greek font for your session. A polytonic Greek font must be installed on your computer in order to view some work titles that appear in Greek.
Yale Center for Language Study
A center of coordination and resources for the more than fifty languages taught at Yale, the Center for Language Study (CLS) provides leadership and support for pedagogical innovation, professional development (including workshops and informal seminars offered in collaboration with language programs), and implementation of new methodologies in language instruction and learning. Through the DILS program, the CLS also offers opportunities for independent language study.
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Last modified: 9/22/09