: Stairways to Heaven

IC Library: Print & Media Resources


Note: In Library of Congress Subject Headings both "Church" and "Theology" refer to Christianity.

God (Christianity)
God (Christianity)--History of doctrines

Jesus Christ
Church and state [subdivided by country]
Church architecture [subdivided by place]
Church music [subdivided by time, place, denomination]

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Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

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Reference Resources

IC Library Databases (articles)

Recommended Databases

Note: The databases below allow you to search by topic for articles in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals.  If you wish to see full-text availability for a particular publication, use the Journal Titles search on the Library home page.  You can also use the following link to browse full-text journals in Philosophy & Religion.

     ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our discipline-specific database for religion research. Subject searching is available--just open the "Select a Field" drop-down menu to the right of the search slots.  And you can preview the Subject Headings available here by clicking on "Thesaurus" above the search slots Not only will this allow you to confirm Subject Headings, but for each one you will be able to "explode" or double click it to generate a list of related Subject terms.
     Special Feature: Above the search slots note "Scriptures."  This refers to only the Jewish and Christian books contained in their respective versions of the Bible (no Apocrypha), and it allows you easily to search for articles by chapter and verse for each book. 

     General OneFile : is a comprehensive database, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).
     After finding the best Subject term, use the “Subdivisions” link below it for focus.  These allow you to target articles on a particular aspect of the topic, including Ethical Aspects, Political aspects, Religious aspects, and Social aspects.

      Academic Search Premier Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.

     ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available. Among the available Subjects are Religion, Religion & Politics, Religion & Psychology, Religious Differences, Religious Discrimination, Religious Fundamentalism, Religious Issues, and Religious Law.
      User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place enter it in "Location."

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciiplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th.  Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear in JSTOR until at least1-2 years after publication.   
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tick the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.

    Project Muse , although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse uses a "black box" search approach--you enter your search terms in one slot with no designated field options.  This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals, so it's best to be as specific as possible.  

     Philosopher's Index : No full text, but the “ArticleLinker” arrows at the end of each citation will connect to scholarly full text in our other databases--making this an efficient one-stop search.
     Subject searching is available here--just open the "Anywhere" drop-down menu to the right of the search slots and choose "Descriptors."  The Descriptors can be previewed by clicking on "Browse Descriptors" below the search slots.  Among the available Descriptors are Religion, Religious Belief, Religious Ethics, Religious Experience, god, gods, goddess, faith, salvation, and theology, and theodicy.

   PsycINFO :  The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. Among the Descriptors available here are Religion, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs, Religious Conversion, Religious Practices, Religious Prejudices, God Concepts, Prayer, Faith, Bible, Theology, and Mysticism.  And If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Descriptors" on the right of the citation for more ideas about useful search terms.  

      ScienceDirect : Don't be misled by the name: ScienceDirect covers both the physical and social sciences and can be an outstanding source of articles on religious topics Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles. One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. Once you have found an article that sounds on-target, click the “Related Articles” link beneath the citation This will open a range of articles on the same topic.
     Adding--religio*-- to your search will help focus on the articles that are concerned with the religious aspects of a topic (* is a truncation symbol and religiou* will retrieve religion, religions, religious, religiosity, and religiousness).
     User Advisory: Uncheck "Books"--we don't subscribe to the book collection..

Where's the Full Text??

    Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks if another IC Library database offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 
  • "GETIT" will frequently find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to IC Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Web Resources

Recommended Sites

  • Virtual Religion Index: One of the most comprehensive gateways to religion Web sites, from the Religion Department at Rutgers University. There are subsections devoted to Christian Tradition, Judaic Studies, Biblical Studies, Hindu Studies, Islamic Tradition, Buddist Tradition, and more.  Scroll down to the Index of Topics to begin.
  • Exploring Religions:Gateway to five religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism.
  • Religious Movements Page: Alphabetical Index: Currently parked in the Internet Archive, this comprehensive list still links to the original research compiled by the University of Virginia Center on Religion & Democracy.
  • Voice of the Shuttle: Religious Studies: Gateway to online resources for Christianity & Bible Studies, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and more.  Use the index at the upper right.
  • Religious Studies Web Guide:  Cleanly organized gateway site, from University of Calgary Library.
  • Religious Worlds: The Religious Traditions links offer the usual suspects, but the Religion and Modernity and Religion and Cyberspace sections are use for categories of links such as Religion and Film and Virtual Religions.
  • Religion Online: Over 6,000 articles, mainly from a Christian perspective.
  • Hinduism: An introduction to Hinduism, with e-texts and links.
  • Buddhanet: Use the tabs along the top, for example, Buddhist Studies and Library/Resources.
  • DharmaNet: Non-sectarian introductory site.
  • Access to Insight: A Theravada Buddhism site offering indexed, translations of over 1,000 Tipitaka suttas.

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.