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This guide is meant to help you find Primary Source Materials on World Religions. It is not exhaustive but will get you started on finding primary source materials. It is broken down into General Religious sources, which tends to include a variety of world religions, Western (Eurocentric) Religions and Eastern Religions.
A good way to find additional sources is by looking in you secondary source materials. A lot of times primary sources will be reprinted in these sources or at the very least cited.
Also keep in mind how much language changes over time. You may need to use words in your searches that you wouldn't consider using normally.
Finally, if you find any really good websites, books, or other sources of World Religion primary sources please send them my way and I'll add them to this guide for others in your class.
The best way to request books is the PALCI (also known as E-Z Borrow) system.
This is a regional network that delivers books in 3 to 4 business days.
If you need a book that is not available through PALCI, you can use ILLiad,
which is a larger, national system, but tends to be slower.
On the PALCI logon screen, you are asked for a Patron ID. The number you
need is the 16 digit number on the back of your WCU ID card. If your
number doesn't work, you need to stop by or call the library's circulation desk
to activate this number.
Relevant Databases @ WCU
ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials
Excellent resource for all fields of religious study, ATLA has citations and some full-text for scholarly journals, essays, book reviews and multi-author works from the American Theological Library Association.
Early English Books Online
Early English Books (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Search the full-text of digital images for a wide range of books published from 1701-1800 in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.
Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets
Full-text digitized collections from the RLUK (Research Libraries UK), including the Hume Tracts, Cowen Tracts on issues of the 1840s to 1880s, Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection & more.
Archive of Americana
Cross-search full text of all Readex primary historical publications databases.
Accessible Archives Complete
Historical, primary source, full text material including: African-American Newspapers 19th Century, American County Histories to 1900 (Pennsylvania), The Civil War Perspectives; National Anti-Slavery Standard; National Citizen and Ballot Box; Pennsylvania Gazette: 1728-1800, Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalog: Chester County 1809-1870, and Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County 1819-1817; The Revolution.
General Religion Websites
Below is a list of useful websites for all World Religions. Many of the links are to research guides similar to this one at other universities or colleges so you may not have access to their databases but you can request materials like books and journal articles via Interlibary Loan.
Sacred Books of the World Religions: Finding Primary Sources
This guide was created by Indiana University at Bloomington libraries. It lists important religious texts in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Taoism. The Call #'s listed in the guide are for Library of Congress scheme and we use Dewey scheme here at WCU but the information can still be useful. If you find a title of interest search our library catalog to see if we have it, if not request through ILL.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
A website devoted to making the texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric freely available on the web. Texts appear in English and in their original languages when available. Can be browsed by specific religion or topics as well as searched.
Christopher Newport University Primary Sources: Philosophy & Religion Guide
Provides links to webpages for most major religions. Look specifically at each pages box titled “Online Sources,” these will be freely accessible websites. If you find something useful like a book or journal article check to see if we have it, if not request through ILL.
Internet History Sourcebooks Project
This is a project at Fordham University. It contains digital copies of historical texts. Topics include regions, religions, as well as themes.
European History Primary Sources
An index of scholarly websites that offer online access to digitized primary sources on the history of Europe. The websites listed on EHPS are not only meta-sources but also include invented archives and born digital sources.
Can browse or search the index.
Women in World History
This is a project undertaken at George Mason University as part of the Center for History and New Media. Can browse primary sources by region or search the online collection. Also includes an essay on using primary sources.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
You will find full-text books, film, audio and web pages archived on this site. Some of WCU's own materials, including our yearbooks and catalogs are on this site.
Project Gutenberg offers over 38,000 free ebooks in a variety of subjects.