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Open Access Resources in Religion and Theology  

A list of open access resources and blogs related to religion and theology.
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Open Access?

Open access is the term for scholarly materials that are freely available.  A number of publishing strategies may be employed to support these works, but all open access materials share the quality of being freely accessible to all, rather than requiring a paid subscription.  Open access materials can be accessed by scholars and interested laypeople across the globe.  This overview by Peter Suber provides more details.

What is this Guide?

This guide contains links to open access resources of all kinds.  Materials considered include full-text digitizations of printed materials; open access journals on topics of religion and theology; scholarly blogs that cover open access religion resources and issues; and freely available born-digital resources for the study of religion and theology.

Do you have suggestions for resources to include?

If you know of additional resources that should be included, please email Tracy Powell Iwaskow with a link and brief information about the resource.

Discussions of open access resources in religion and theology

  • Omega Alpha: Open Access
    A blog discussing open access issues in Religion and Theology, written by Gary F. Daught, academic librarian.
  • Scholarly Communications @ Duke
    Kevin Smith is the Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University. Prior to that, he worked as a theological librarian. His posts and musings about scholarly communications are clearly and thoughtfully written, and often have direct relevance to scholarly communication issues in religion and theology.

Searching for Open Access Materials

In addition to the links contained in this guide, you can use the tools below to locate more open access resources on your topic or by a particular author.

  • Google Scholar
    This is currently the most successful searching tool for locating open access versions of journals, as many university open access repositories (including Emory's) are designed to be searchable by Google's web crawlers.
  • OAIster
    OAIster is a product from OCLC (the providers of WorldCat) that indexes open access materials. It searches for both open access eBooks and journals.
  • OpenDOAR
    OpenDOAR is a directory of open access repositories.

Biblical Studies and the Ancient World

  • AWOL: The Ancient World Online
    Open access resources about the Ancient World collected by Charles E. Jones, Head Librarian of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.
  • Bible Gateway
    Search the Bible in multiple translations (Common English Bible, NIV, ESV, KJV, NASB, etc.) and multiple languages (Arabic, French, Spanish, Korean, etc.)
  • Codex Sinaiticus
    A project to make the entire text of the Codex Sinaiticus available online in one location, regardless of the geographic location of the material pieces of the text.
  • iTanakh
    Resources for the academic study and teaching of the Hebrew Bible.
  • New Testament Gateway
    An award winning web directory of internet resources on the New Testament. Browse or search annotated links on everything connected with the academic study of the New Testament and Christian Origins.
    Offers a customized search engine (the Papyrological Navigator) that aggregates findings from the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS), the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP), the Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), and Bibliographie Papyrologique (BP), as well as links to Trismegistos.

Historical and Theological Studies

  • American Methodism: Internet Archive
    The American Methodism Project is a digitized collection of interdisciplinary and historical materials related to American Methodism. The primary goal of this project is to provide both the digital tools and the digitized texts of American Methodism to better understand both Methodism and the United States. Contemporary questions of church and state boundaries, the role of government, moral development, education, leadership, labor, immigration, family, etc. are topics which can benefit from debates and reflections contained within this corpus of materials.
  • Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon
    Full-text online version of the Biographisch-bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon. This massive German reference work, which is still being updated, provides over 14,000 biographical entries for the history of the Christian church, from the early church to recent decades.
  • DigiTheo
    German-language theological journals from the 19th century that have been digitized by the Universitat Tubingen.
  • Index Theologicus
    A broad theological index resource developed at Universitat Tubingen. Covers more European religion publications and than the ATLA Religion Database, but fewer North American publications. Some coverage begins in 1970, with the bulk of indexed materials dating from 1977 forward.
  • The Church in the Southern Black Community
    A collection from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Documenting the American South program. It includes "autobiographies, biographies, church documents, sermons, histories, encyclopedias, and other published materials.... [that] present a collected history of the way Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life."

Christian Ministry and Practices

  • Digital Image Archive
    Pitts' own contribution toward making images from rare 16th and 17th century materials available to all. More than 42,000 images have been digitized and are available freely for non-commercial use.
    Search for hymn tunes, hymnals, and scripture references from thousands of hymnals. Create and account and log in to save items for later use.

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