Databases and Electronic Resources Divinity Students Should Know About: A Quick Guide

[PAGE STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Everyone’s best hours for research, reading, and paper writing are different. Some of us love working late at night. Some of us, regardless of preference, find ourselves working late at night because that paper deadline is tomorrow. But there is good news: Duke Divinity Library resources are here for you, 24 hours a day — if you know how to look. Below are the search strategies and top databases Divinity students should know about.

Searching for Electronic Books

Atla

JSTOR

Good to Know: Sometimes Atla and JSTOR don’t link directly to the downloadable PDF of an article. Before you give up, note the title of the journal your article appears in and use the “Online Journal Titles” search option from the main Divinity Library page to see if Duke subscribes to the journal through another platform. You can then search for the article by the date/issue in which it appeared.

Ministry Matters

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Intelex Past Masters

Library of Latin Texts Series A (and Series B)

Digital Karl Barth Library

Loeb Classical Library

Thesaurus Linguae Graecae / Thesaurus Linguae Latinae

Proquest Central

Database Highlight: Past Masters

Are you taking a seminar on the thought of St. Augustine this fall and looking for an easy way to get broad, searchable access to his writings? Are you curious about the theological writings of Anselm, Lombard, or Aquinas? Want to flip through Jane Austen’s letters, or Søren Kierkegaard’s journals, or learn about the Blue Stockings Society’s advocacy of women’s education and literacy in 18th-century England?

The Past Masters database includes full-text electronic editions of primary source materials in religion, philosophy, political thought and theory, education, classics, and more. Think it could be useful for your research? Here’s how to get started:

 

Step 1: In the Divinity Library catalog, search “Intelex Past Masters.” Your first result will look like this:

Select “View Online” to navigate to the database’s main page.

 

Step 2: Begin searching!

You can search the entire database using the SEARCH box in the left-hand menu, or you can select a title from the alphabetized list in order to navigate directly to a particular author’s works. Let’s say you want to learn more about Augustine’s writings. In that case, select the link for “Augustine: Works.”

 

 

Step 3:  Once you’ve brought up Augustine: Works, focus on the left-hand menu.

There are two main ways to search within a collection like Augustine’s writings: broadly through the whole collection, or within individual volumes/works. Both of these search strategies make use of the left-hand menu. Notice that the SEARCH box is still present at the top, but specifies its search parameters within the collection of Augustine’s writings. Further down, you’ll begin to see titles of Augustine’s works linked in the grey boxes. This is how you would select a specific individual title to read or search online.

 

Step 4: Example search: collection-wide. Let’s say you want to learn more about Augustine’s thinking on the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Using the SEARCH box, enter keywords that have to do with the Lord’s Supper: for example, you might run searches for “communion”, “Eucharist”, or “bread and wine”. Here’s what happens when you search for “Eucharist”: the database finds hits within 19 of the 20 available volumes of Augustine’s writings! The volumes will then appear in order of relevance. Coming in first place with 39 separate hits is Augustine’s Sermons (184-229Z) on the Liturgical Seasons. Here’s a peek at the result list:

Notice that you get minimal context surrounding each occurrence of your search term. This can help you narrow down which hits will actually be helpful to your specific research question.

 

Step 5: Ready to see one of your hits in the broader context of Augustine’s writings? Notice that each occurrence of your search term is in bold scarlet print. These are hyperlinks connected to the place in the volume where the term appears. Select any line to get started. Here’s an example of where you’ll be taken in the larger text:

Once again, your search term is highlighted in scarlet. Also, notice there are arrows before and after the search term. These allow you to navigate quickly forward or backward through your search results without returning to the main results page. This can be very helpful, especially if you get several results in a row that are irrelevant or take you to occurrences of your search term in the translator’s footnotes.

 

Step 6: Okay, we’ve found some good stuff. How do we cite it? Let’s look at the left-hand menu again.

Notice the option, right under the SEARCH box, to “Export a Citation.” This will pull up a citation for you in plain text, or, if you use a citation management program like EndNote, you can select an option that exports the citation to that program. Prefer to cite the print version of the text? Back at the main page for the collection, you’ll find a “List of Contents” that gives the citation information for the print books these electronic books are taken from. In the example of Augustine’s writings, the print version used is the New City Press edition. Find the bibliography entry appropriate to the volume of the search result you wish to cite. Be sure to also include the page number from the entry you are citing.

German for Reading

There’s no sense shielding you from the awful truth. You might as well know.

German is a very difficult language to learn.

Or had you already figured that out? If you had, you are in good company: no less an American dignitary than Mark Twain agreed with you. In fact, while you’re procrastinating from learning German, you might read his brilliant essay, “The Awful German Language.”

Many academics have felt the same way. And yet, for various reasons — whether to read a source in the original, or to follow modern academic scholarship, or to pass muster before a committee — these academics have persisted in trying to teach themselves German. They have persisted despite separable prefixes, distant verbs, and the syntactical pattern Twain accurately described as “Parenthesis distemper.”

So how have these giants of academia past overcome the hurdle that is German? Some of the popular strategies of learning and practicing the language include:

  • auditing a class in the German department
  • taking a summer course in German for Reading
  • bringing a German Bible along to worship services and following the Scripture reading
  • watching films with German audio and/or subtitles
  • listening to lessons from the Pimsleur German language program
  • finding an introductory grammar text and buckling down
  • lots and lots of flashcards — pre-made or home-made

Regardless of the strategy that most appeals to you, learning a new language is likely to be a long and difficult road. At the Divinity Library, we want you to have everything you need to build good habits for studying German. So we’ve added a permanent Reserve collection for German resources. Here are the items you can borrow:

Three-hour loan:

  • Introduction to Theological German: a beginner’s course for theological students, by J. D. Manton
  • Modern Theological German: a reader and dictionary, by Helmut W. Ziefle

Two-week loan:

  • Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen (HP 1), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens (HP 2), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban (HP 3), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch (HP 4), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und der Orden des Phönix (HP 5), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und der Halbblutprinz (HP 6), by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes (HP 7), by Joanne K. Rowling

Ask for any of these titles at the circulation desk to get started on (or continue!) your German adventure. And be sure to let us know when you pass your exam!

Prost!

Summer 2018 Reading Suggestions

Ah, summer… Long days, warm temperatures, and far too many mosquitoes.

Let’s go back inside and read!

Wherever you find yourself this summer, we at the Divinity Library hope you are getting an opportunity to rest and recharge, and rediscover the joy of reading without the pressure of class deadlines. To that end, what follows is a short list of recommendations for summer reading, compiled with the help of the faculty and staff at Duke Divinity School. Happy reading!

Novels:

C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

George Eliot, Adam Bede

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

 

Spiritual Writings:

Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

Pauli Murray: selected sermons and writings

 

Essays and Stories:

Wendell Berry, The art of loading brush: new agrarian writings

 

History:

Judith Herrin, Byzantium: the surprising life of a medieval empire

Philip P. Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood be Shed: the story of the village of Le Chambon and how goodness happened there

Harry S. Stout, Upon the altar of the nation: a moral history of the American Civil War

 

What else have you been reading this summer? Let us know in the comments!