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HIS 650/651/652 (Gedge)  

A Research Guide for Karin Gedge's History 650, 651, and 652 capstone courses in World Religion.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Guide Info

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.

Good luck!


Interlibrary Loan

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.

Note:  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. 

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.
  • Primary Source Material in Religion and Politics Guide
    This is a guide created by Baylor University Libraries deals with the interaction of politics and religion. The guide is broken down into major (mostly European) historical eras.
  • 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.
  • Crusades Encyclopedia
    Includes links to the Crusades effect on multiple religions (Islam, Judaism) as well as women and academia. Provides both secondary and primary sources. Most are links to other websites with translations from the original materials.
  • 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.
  • Classical Library
    Presents full-text of classic literature created by Rev. Dr. Robert S. Munday, Dean and President of Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Can be searched.
  • 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.
  • Internet Archive
    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
    Project Gutenberg offers over 38,000 free ebooks in a variety of subjects.

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