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

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