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THE1074 Patristics Library Research Guide: Introducing Library Databases

Library resources support for THE1074 Present and Future Salvation in the Church Fathers

A-Z Databases Activities

Databases for Theology

Finding Resources via the A-Z Databases

  • Online research databases are invaluable resources for theological and historical research.

  • Use them to view primary research material and to find scholarly commentary materials such as journal articles and books

  • They offer sophisticated search interfaces and functionality

  • The databases index vast quantities of global published literature 

  • Many are international databases, rather than local to Exeter, so we do not necessarily subscribe to or own the indexed publications. 

  • For example, the Web of Science is a useful research resource to find published literature on a topic, but it is a bibliographic database without full text.  It's value is in indexing the worldwide literature on a topic so that you can discover published content.

  • With bibliographic databases,  be prepared for an extra research step

  • After finding a relevant article or book, check whether you have access to that item, either in print or in full-text online. 

  • Library Search will do that for you.  And many of the databases will have a handy Check for this at Exeter button you can use to quickly check the Library Search resources.


  • Each entry in the A-Z database list has an information icon.

  • Hover over that symbol for information about the content that is available in the database and an idea of why it might be useful for research purposes.

  • Shown below is the information for the ATLA Religion database, which is a valuable theology research database.

  • You can scroll through the A-Z and choose a database if you know exactly what you are looking for.

  • Alternatively, you can select Theology from the drop down subject menu, for a subset of databases with that subject focus.

  • Core resources are listed at the top; these are key databases that are likely to be of interest to anyone studying and researching in that area. Other relevant databases are listed below. 


  • Explore the Theology listing so that you are familiar with all the resources that are available to you.

  • Your ELE module contains some recommendations for resources that you will want to explore in support of this module.

  • Some of the key resources that you are likely to find most useful for this module are highlighted in the remainder of the guide

  • Use the databases to search for publications by topic or author.

  • Sample search: Church Fathers and Salvation

  • You will be guided to relevant publications, mainly journal articles but also books, essays etc.

  • Full text is available for some items within the database.

  • For other items you will be linked to full text available elsewhere or to the Library Holdings where you can check on online and print availability of titles.

  • You can view the full text online where available and also download items for later use. 


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