Monday, October 04, 2010

Theological Libraries Month: ATLA

October is Theological Libraries Month. The Darling Library serves all of the programs of Hope International University, but graduate seminaries and some universities have separate libraries for theology. While ours is not exclusively a theological library, 43% of our print books are classified in the religion section (200-299). This not only supports our many Ministry and Biblical Studies programs, but all of our academic programs at Hope as well, which have significant Bible requirements.

Our library is a member of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), a professional association of theological libraries and librarians. Benefits include professional development and publications for our librarians as well as institutional discounts on products such as the ATLA Religion Database – the premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion. Subjects covered include Bible, archaeology, and antiquities; human culture and society; church history, missions, and ecumenism; pastoral ministry; world religions and religious studies; and theology, philosophy, and ethics.

The Darling Library subscribes to the ATLA Religion Database through EBSCOhost which provides a fairly intuitive way of finding articles by scripture references besides the common keyword, subject, and other search terms.

This also serves our neighbors at Cal State Fullerton. CSUF students may access the ATLA Religion Databases while visiting the Darling Library. In fact, every other year, a CSUF Comparative Religion class reserves the Information Commons for an introduction to this electronic resource.

ATLA also offers two free online databases for which no login is required:
  • Research in Ministry (RIM) indexes and abstracts project reports and theses from more than 50 Doctoral programs accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

  • The Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative (CDRI) is a repository of digital resources contributed by member libraries including images of woodcuts, photographs, slides, papyri, coins, maps, postcards, manuscripts, lithographs, sermons, shape-note tune books, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography.
Get to know the resources available to you.

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