Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Religious Studies: General Reference Sources

A guide for reference and online resources for Religious Studies.

Online Reference Sources

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Primary Sources

  • A collection of religious adherent statistics and religious geography citations. Contains references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.


  • Primary History Documents from Western Europe.

Historical Text Archive

  • Provides high quality articles, books, essays, documents, historical photos, and links, screened for content, for a broad range of historical subjects.

Internet Sacred Texts Archive

  • Online archive of sacred texts from many of the world's religions. Scroll down the left side and click on a tradition.

Perseus Project

  • Tufts University's digital library project, containing materials related to: Greece & Rome, Renaissance, 19th century America and more. Access to Greek and Latin lexica.

Religion Online

  • This site has thousands of full-text articles on Religious Studies, but its focuses are Christianity and sociology.

General Print Reference Sources

Atlas of the World’s Religion
   Main Ref  G 1046.E4 A75  1999

    Brill Dictionary of Religion (4 vols.)
       Main Ref  BL 31 M4813 2007

      Dictionary of Atheism, Skepticism & Humanism
         Main Ref  BL 2705 C66 2006

        Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities
           Main Ref  BL 782 C67  2000

          Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism (3 vols.)
             Main Ref  BL 501 E53  1998

            Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements
               Main Ref  BT 891  E53  2000

              Encyclopedia of Monasticism (2 vols.)
                 Main Ref  BL 631 E63 2000

                The Encyclopedia of Native American Religions
                   Main Ref  E 98 R3 H73  1991

                  Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion (2 vols.)
                     Main Ref  BL 65 P7 E53 2007

                    Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2 vols.)
                       Main Ref  BL 31 E465  2005

                      Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivals
                         Main Ref  BL 31 E47 2004

                        Encyclopedia of Science and Religion (2 vols.)
                           Main Ref  BL 240.3 E53  2003

                          Encyclopedia of World Religions
                             Main Ref  BL 80.3 E54 2007

                            Encyclopedia of World Scriptures
                               Main Ref  BL 70 S56  2001

                              Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements
                                 Main Ref  BP 601 C47  2001

                                The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition
                                   Main Ref  BL 245 H57  2000

                                  Mythologies (Y. Bonnefoy) (2 vols.)
                                     Main Ref  BL 311 D513  1991

                                    Pilgrimage: From the Ganges to Graceland (2 vols.)
                                       Main Ref  BL 619 P5 D38 2002

                                      Religions of the World: Comp. Encyclopedia of beliefs (4 vols.)
                                         Main Ref  BL 80.3 R45  2002

                                      The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, 2nd ed.

                                         Main BL41 .R685 2010

                                        Shamanism: An Encyclopedia… (2 vols.)
                                           Main Ref  GN 475.8 S445 2004

                                              Dissertations & Theses

                                              You will probably most often find what you need through the ProQuest Dissertation & Theses database which contains dissertations and theses from U.S. and CANADIAN institutions

                                              Dissertations & Theses (Digital Dissertations) UCSB only

                                              • Indexes disserations from over 1000 predominantly North American universities.
                                              • Includes dissertations submitted from 1861 to as recently as last semester.
                                              • All citations from 1980 have an abstract. Masters theses with short abstracts are included from 1988
                                              • Dissertations & Theses provides free access to 24 page previews and the full text of UC dissertations in PDF format, when available. In most cases, this will be graduate works published in 1997 forward. 


                                              For dissertations approved at BRITISH institutions use

                                              EThOS (Electronic theses online service)

                                              • From the British Library 
                                              • Contains over 250,000 theses
                                              • Not all theses are available for immediate download

                                              • To access a special collection entitled JISC: Digital Islam: Theses on EThOS, enter the search phrase - JISC Digital Islam

                                              • JISC: Digital Islam: Theses on EThOS offers online access to over 900 dissertations produced in U.K. institutions since 1997. Digitized catalogues, dictionaries, and manuscripts will eventually be included

                                              For dissertations approved at European (other than the U.K.) institutions use

                                              DART-Europe E-theses Portal

                                              • Not all universities participate

                                              The Center for Research Libraries has a selected collection of dissertations from around the world; some are in digital format.

                                              For dissertations approved at institutions throughout the world use

                                              Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

                                              • A networked site for open access ETD portals


                                              • There are currently more than 90 countries and over 1200 institutions represented.
                                              • CRL has catalog records for over 800,000 foreign doctoral dissertations.



                                              Libraries and Research Centers

                                              Libraries & Research Centers

                                              Center for Research Libraries

                                              • Access to more than five million volumes of rare research materials found in North American libraries.

                                              Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University

                                              • Encourages intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary scholarly studies about religion
                                              • Offers diverse perspectives of the humanities and social sciences.
                                              • Examines religion comparatively and empirically in its diverse historical and contemporary manifestations.

                                              International Institute of Social History

                                              • One of the world's largest documentary- and research-centres for social history.
                                              • Stores, maintains, and provides access to documents pertaining to social movements.

                                              National Library Catalogues Worldwide

                                              • Links to the national library catalogues of various countries.

                                              Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life

                                              • Promotes the study of religious pluralism.
                                              • Provides useful list of links to other pages about this topic.

                                              Copyright © 2008-2019 The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved.
                                              UCSB Library (805) 893-2478 • Music Library (805) 893-2641 • UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
                                              Contact UsPolicies