New Online Religion Encyclopedias from GVRL

We just seven new online religion encyclopedias from the online platform Gale Virtual Reference Library, which has dozens of encyclopedias in many different categories. Below are links to the new encyclopedias. Encyclopedia of Judaism four volume encyclopedia from Brill Academic Publishers Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an multivolume from Brill Academic Publishers Brill Dictionary of Religion four volumes from Brill Academic Publishers Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism two volumes from Brill Academic Publishers Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations one volume from Cambridge University Press Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America three volumes from Indiana University Press Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism two volumes from Rosen Publishing

Try out EBSCO Religion & Philosophy Collection

EBSCO, one of our largest database vendors, has given us free access to its Religion & Philosophy Collection, a subset of the large multidisciplinary database Academic Search Premier. This is how EBSCO describes the Religion & Philosophy Collection: “The Religion & Philosophy Collection is a comprehensive database covering such topics as world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy. This database offers more than 300 full text journals, including more than 250 peer-reviewed titles, making it an essential tool for researchers and students of theology and philosophical studies. In addition to the full text, indexing and abstracts are provided for all journals in the database.” ————————————————————————————————————– Subject Guides Classics // Islamic Studies // Jewish Studies // Philosophy // Religion ————————————————————————————————————–

Use Google Scholar to Find Full-Text @ TU

Google Scholar has become a useful search tool because it allows you to search across the content of many different databases, including JSTOR, Project MUSE, Blackwell Synergy, Cambridge Journals Online, SpringerLink, HighWire Press, Journals@Ovid Full Text, Sage Journals Online, ScienceDirect, and many more. That is not to say that the entire content of these databases is available through Google Scholar (which has never released a complete list of its sources or the extent of its coverage) but at least some of it is there. Google Scholar also includes books from Google Book Search in its search results. Up till now, one of the problems with Google Scholar for Temple students, faculty, and staff has been the difficulty in retrieving the full-text of articles. You might find a juicy article in Google Scholar but after clicking on the link get a message that the article is blocked, even for many databases that you know Temple subscribes to. Well, this process has just gotten a whole lot easier. Now Temple has registered its TUlink service with Google Scholar, which means that you can link directly from Google Scholar into the library’s subscription databases. Look for Find Full-Text @ TU right after the article title and click on it. You will see the TUlink interface pop up with links for full-text if we have it online or in print, or a link to Temple’s Interlibrary Loan Form if we don’t. From within any of Temple’s campuses, links to Find Full-Text @ TUwill appear automatically. From off-campus you need to do one of two things:

  1. Just click HERE and it will automatically set your Google Scholar preferences for Find Full-Text @ TU, or
  • Go into the preferences of Google Scholar and select Temple University from LIbrary LInks.

You will find that Google Scholar is a nice addition to your research toolkit. Including it when researching a subject often brings some unusual and unexpected results. Set up your Find Full-Text @ TU preference and give it a whirl. Find Full-Text @ TU will NOT appear for books. For books, click on the link to Library Search at the bottom of the citation. This will take you to the record of the book in, where you can input a local zip code (Temple’s is 19122) to find a local library with the book. You can set your Google Scholar preferences to use Refworks as your citation manager. In Google Scholar Preferences, just select Refworks as the Bibliography Manager. –Fred Rowland

Index of Christian Art

The library now has The Index of Christian Art, the result of a project begun by Professor Charles Rufus Morey at Princeton University in 1917. He believed that the development of Early Christian art could be more deeply understood through the study of themes rather than artistic styles, which during the Greco-Roman period were too “uniform” (more information on the ICA). From a humble beginning of a few shoe boxes of index cards he crafted an indexing system which today falls under five broad thematic groups, Figures, Scenes, Nature, Objects, and Miscellany. The current online database covers all additions to the collection since 1991 when digitization began and thirty percent of the items indexed before 1991. It grows yearly and the retrospective digitization will eventually bring all pre-1991 content into the database. In addition to indexing Christian art, the database contains over 60,000 images both in color and black and white. For those who need to examine content that has not been digitized, they can still go to Princeton, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Utrecht, or the Vatican to view the entire collection. The Index of Christian Art includes works of art from the early years of Christianity up through 1400 AD and recently the decision was made to expand the coverage up through the sixteenth century. The Index of Christian Art contains three different record types, which are called “databases” or simply “bases”: Work of Art records (over 57,000), Subject records (over 28,000), and Bibliographic records (over 57,000). The Work of Art records provide detailed descriptions and links to the images. Although there are multiple ways to search and browse, I found it confusing for the novice user (myself) since it’s often hard to distinguish between the actual record types and the individual fields in the records, especially when constructing a search and interpreting the results. I trust that greater knowledge of Early Christian art and more familiarity with the database would ease this burden a little (if not, feel free to let me know). The new user should start with the Multi-Base search because it lets you search across all fields and you can select which record type you’d like to search. Your results are unambiguous: if you search Work of Art records (or Subject or Bibliography records) you’ll get just that type of record in the results set. Index of Christian Art is a nice addition to our other art bibliographic and image databases, which can be found on the Arts & Humanities database list. Feel free to contact me with any questions. —Fred Rowland

Blackwell Compass Journals

Take a look at the library’s recently subscribed suite of online-only “survey” journals called Blackwell Compass, available from the All Databases list. It’s made up of six journals from the following disciplines: History, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Geography, and Language and Linguistics. Each of the journals is broken down by topic area. For instance, Philosophy Compass is broken out into Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art; Continental; Epistemology; Ethics; History of Philosophy, and the like. Religion Compass is divided into African Religions; Ancient Near East; Buddhism; Chinese and Japanese Traditions, etc. One thing to keep in mind as you are using these is that the journals are very recent–in some cases started only in 2007–and that some topic areas do not yet have content. (In fact, just as I was writing this post a new one, Sociology Compass, became available.) Here’s how Blackwell describes these journals: “Each Compass journal publishes peer-reviewed survey articles from across the entire discipline. Experienced researchers, teaching faculty, and advanced students will all benefit from the accessible, informative articles that provide overviews of current research.” As the deluge of information becomes faster, wider, deeper, survey journals are one way to stem the tide and bob for air. They have been popular in science publishing for a few years now (see Nature Reviews from the Nature Publishing Group) where access and currency are at a premium. In the humanities and social sciences, with so much information to choose from and where interdisciplinarity is increasingly common, it’s very important to be able to go right to the heart of the current literature and debates of a topic. It’s a great time saver. In History Compass, I did a simple keyword search for greek or roman and came upon an article on Ancient Greek Mercenaries (664–250 BCE). It was 16 pages in length, with a bibliography of 19 primary sources and over 100 secondary sources. In Literature Compass, I did a simple keyword search for autobiography and found an article on Victorian Life Writing, which was 17 pages with a lengthy bibliography as well. Along with the survey articles, there are also “Teaching and Learning Guides”, in which the authors of articles pose a few research questions on their topic and then offer articles, books, and web sites that help address these questions. For instance, Karl Gunther wrote The Origins of English Puritanism and also A Teaching and Learning Guide For: The Origins of English Puritanism. The Teaching and Learning Guides are about two pages in length and are only available selectively. One gripe I have with Blackwell Compass is that there’s no way to search across all the Compass journals. If you are researching the ancient world, for instance, you would very likely want to search history, literature, philosophy, religion, and language and linguistics. In addition, the loosening of disciplinary boundaries over the past few decades makes this kind of broad search very important. You can leave the Compass journals and go to Synergy, Blackwell’s online journal platform, and select just these journals to search, but this seems unnecessarily complex. Hopefully this is a problem that will be fixed in coming iterations of Blackwell Compass. In the meantime, check out these journals and let me know what you think. . —Fred Rowland

Three great new databases

Periodicals Index Online (PIO), Periodicals Archive Online (PAO), and British Periodicals Online are now available at the Temple University Libraries from the All Databases list. These are superb additions for arts, humanities, and social science students and researchers. Coming from Proquest, the three databases are all related. Periodicals Index Online (formerly known as Periodicals Contents Index, or PCI) is the primary database because in addition to its own content it indexes and provides links to Periodicals Archive Online (formerly known as PCI Full Text) and British Periodicals Online. Periodicals Index Online is a growing database that currently provides access to over 16 million articles from 5000 journals in over 40 languages going back as far as 1665. Every journal or magazine indexed by PIO starts from volume 1 issue 1 so there are no gaps in coverage. The PIO interface is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. When you search PIO, you are also searching PAO and the British Periodicals Index. PIO also provides links to Project Muse and JSTOR journals. Periodicals Archive Online provides full-text access to 450 journals and magazines from 1665 to 1995 as well as 160 from British Periodicals Online. In all, PAO provides over 1.8 million full-text articles plus the full-text content from British Periodicals Online. As with PIO, there are links to Project MUSE and JSTOR journals. British Periodicals Online can be searched separately. It comes in two modules. Module I is currently available and module II will add an additional 300 journals and magazines in the latter half of 2007. Here is a description of it from the website: “British Periodicals traces the development and growth of the periodical press in Britain from its origins in the seventeenth century through to the Victorian ‘age of periodicals’ and beyond. On completion this unique digital archive will consist of almost 500 periodical runs published from the 1680s to the 1930s, comprising six million keyword-searchable pages and forming an unrivalled record of more than two centuries of British history and culture.” Here are a few sample articles to pique your interest: ATROCITIES OF BONAPARTE, IN 1797, Anti-Gallican: or Standard of British loyalty, religion and liberty , 1:12 (1804:Dec.) p.457 A Conjecture concerning the Peopling of AMERICA, Arminian Magazine consisting of extracts and original treatises on universal redemption, 13 (1790:Nov.) p.599 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ON THE USE OF OIL AT SEA, Chambers’s journal of popular literature, science and arts, 934 (1881:Nov.) p.752 DANIEL DERONDA, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 52 (1875:Dec.-1876:May) p.425 Germany and Austria, Current History (New York), 22:4 (1925:July) p.653 Israel’s Place in America Hispana, Contemporary Jewish Record, 6:1 (1943:Feb.) p.5 If you do any research in the humanities and social sciences, you should get to know these databases very well. For students, they will help to save time and get better grades. For faculty and researchers, they will broaden the scope of your research and reduce searching time. —Fred Rowland

Blackwell Reference Online

The Temple University Libraries now offers electronic access to 80 Blackwell companions, guides, and dictionaries in the subject areas of philosophy (59 volumes) and religion (21 volumes), as part of Blackwell Reference Online. For a complete list of the philosophy and religion titles go here. These works offer great topic overviews and nicely complement the recently acquired Cambridge Companions. While Cambridge Companions predominantly focus on individual philosophers and theologians, Blackwell companions and guides focus on subject areas, i.e. epistemology, logic, religious ethics, political theology, etc. Most of the titles in this collection are heavily used in print at Temple. Like the Cambridge Companions they are superb overviews written by prominent scholars, essential for faculty in unfamiliar disciplines, graduate students studying for classes and preliminary exams, and undergraduates researching papers. The searchable bibliographies take users right to the heart of current scholarship in a topic area. Like the Cambridge Companions, this electronic content will serve as excellent course material, most likely substituting in many instances for print texts. There is quite a bit of overlap between Blackwell Reference Online and our print collection, but the print and the electronic versions of these works will likely be used in different ways. While the print versions are great for the focused study of individual topics, Blackwell Reference Online will allow users to search broadly over all the philosophy and religion volumes, discovering associations and linkages not apparent from the separate print volumes. You can search Blackwell Reference Online using either the simple or advanced search. The simple search, which searches the full-text, offers post-search limiting by Subject, Place, Period, People, and Key Topics. It’s pretty slick, much like the way Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy does it. In the Advanced Search you can search authors, chapter titles, bibliographies, and full-text, as well as limiting to a particular book or subject area. You can also browse individual works. All results are presented as chapter titles or dictionary entries and are printable in full. Another great source from the Temple University Libraries. Don’t wait. Start searching now! —Fred Rowland

Online Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

The Online Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) contains almost the whole corpus of Greek literature in full-text from the age of Homer through the fall of Byzantium in 1453 AD to the Ottoman Turks. This scholarly tool has very quickly become essential for studying Greek history, literature, and philosophy. Since its origins classical studies has been strongly influenced by language and linguistics. TLG allows researchers to examine Greek at both a broad and a fine-grained level. Scholars can effortlessly search across the database to look for word frequencies and unusual words, concepts and phrases, or they can examine just a single text. You can limit your search to specific centuries, use abbreviated subject and geographic categories, or search a selected group of texts. Using one of the many kinds of Greek fonts, you can not only retrieve texts but also input searches in Greek font. It’s very cool. Imagine the riches this collection contains: the Presocratics with their focus on the natural world, the Platonic dialogues with their emphasis on ethics and morality, and Aristotle’s wide-ranging and multidimensional gaze. The Greek tragedians Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. The writers of the Hellenistic period when Greek learning spread to most of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds. The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, plus the Acts of the Apostles and the letters. Ancient Hebrew wisdom transmitted through the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures. And don’t forget the apocrypha, like the Gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Barnabas, and the Apocalypse of Daniel. Or the Greek Fathers, or the commentators on Aristotle like Alexander of Aphrodisias. This is a great scholarly collection and the Temple University Libraries is happy to bring it to faculty, students, and staff. —Fred Rowland

POIESIS: a full-text philosophy database

Much of the scholarly communication in philosophy takes place in small journals run on a shoestring out of academic departments, scholarly societies, and associations. Although there’s a lot to be learned from philosophy, there’s not much money in it unless you leave it to, say, get a law degree. Online resources are rather slim compared to many other disciplines. But there are some good ones turning up and the Temple University Libraries is working to make them available to faculty, staff, and students. Our most recent new resource is Poiesis, a full-text database that makes many of those small underfunded philosophy journals available online. To my knowledge, it’s the only full-text database that narrowly focuses on philosophy. In order to have access to the online editions in Poiesis, a library has to also hold a print subscription to the journals as well. Temple subscribed to around forty new philosophy journals this year in order to bring Poiesis to the campus. Here’s a list of the journals available through Poiesis. From the Temple web site, Poiesis can be accessed from the All Databases or the Arts and Humanities list. Individual titles are available through Journal Finder. Poiesis currently contains 50 journal titles for a total of 2200 issues and 330,000 pages. Eventually it should contain 100 journal titles. The primary users of this database will be philosophy faculty and students, but there is also relevant content for students of related disciplines like religion and literature. The interface of this database is a bit quirky and takes a bit of time to get used to, so better start using it today! Please contact me with any questions. Our other new electronic resources for philosophy are the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Cambridge Companions Online. All together these three new resources make philosophy research at Temple quicker and easier. —Fred Rowland

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online

Hello All, Great news: we now have the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online! It’s available from the All Databases list. REP has both superb content and an equally superb interface. There is also supplemental content online that is not in the print volumes. To give just one example of the excellent documentation in this reference source, the bibliographies of major philosophers give the authoritative editions of the authors’ works, both in the original language and in English translation. Coverage of this encyclopedia is very broad and skips over many disciplinary boundaries. To provide just a few examples, there are articles on Augustine, Martin Luther, Maimonides, Ibn Sina, and Confucius that would be of interest to students of religion. There are articles on ethics, business ethics, and journalistic ethics. If your interest is literature there are articles on katharsis, mimesis, poetry, tragedy, and literature and philosophy. For social scientists, there are articles on the history of the philosophy of the social sciences, the philosophy of the social sciences, and on prediction in the social sciences. For historians, there are articles on the philosophy of history and on Chinese theories of the philosophy of history. Key Features (from REP web site)

  • 2,000 original entries from a team of over 1,300 of the world’s most respected scholars and philosophers
  • Covers an unparalleled breadth of subject matter, including Anglo-American, ethical and political, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, continental and contemporary philosophy
  • Over 25,000 hot-linked cross-references between articles and new links to other editorially reviewed websites
  • An invaluable resource for all levels of users – students and general readers gain a rapid orientation with accessible summaries at the beginning of every in-depth article
  • Regularly upgraded with new material, revisions, and bibliographic updates, REP provides access to the latest scholarship and major developments in philosophical inquiry worldwide

Also, don’t forget about philosophy encyclopedias on Gale Virtual Reference Library: Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. —Fred Rowland